2012: Defining Moments

iStock_000008947909XSmall

A line from yesterday’s sermon has me thinking today:

“Don’t let the events in your life define your purpose. Instead, let your God-given purpose define you and how you deal with the events that come your way.”

 There are a number of events in 2012 that I could share, events that might be considered “defining”. Some wonderful, some…not so much. I’m so thankful to be working with the amazing group of writers I call clients and friends, and delighted that we’ve found publishing homes for many of these talented folks. And I look forward to the New Year with a sense of anticipation of what God has in store for the rest. I’ve had great fun traveling to visit with and mentor writers and to speak at writers’ conferences/retreats. I’ve had the honor of meeting many of you, and it’s been such a blessing.

But as I sit here, looking back on 2012, I can’t help but think of the host of events outside of publishing that impacted us. Events many would consider “defining”:

  • Political animus poisoning TV, the Internet, blogs, and conversations between family and friends
  • Financial crises striking at the core of our security as individuals and a country
  • Disasters, both manmade and natural, taking people’s homes and lives
  • Countries steeped in hate pushing each other toward war
  • Insanity acted out in bombings and shootings…

And on and on it goes.

With each new report, our hearts are pierced. We wonder what has happened to this world, to our country, to our friends and family. And it all leaves us so…weary. Even hopeless. I have found myself lost in a sense of despair that mankind is hopelessly wicked, and that evil is running rampant as never before…

And yet.

And yet…

God. 

God is. God lives and breathes. God speaks and acts. And He is there, in every pain-filled event, speaking His truth, whispering his peace to our souls. And if I will but listen, my God-given purpose–which is the same as everyone’s: to reflect Him in a wounded and weary world–grows stronger. Undergirds me. Brings me the peace that passes understanding so that rather than giving in to the sorrow and anger, I can lift my head and say with absolute conviction…

God Is.

He is peace and hope. He is restoration. He is the beginning and the end. He is…

Everything.

And while I cannot change the world, or bring mankind back to sanity (or, for that matter, find a publishing home for every writer with talent and a powerful story), He can. All I need to do is follow Him, step-by-step, and leave the results to the Him.

And so, each day, as I hear of new pain or anger or fears, as my clients come to me with concerns or uncertainty, I take it all to Him. And I hold fast to the truth that He is at work in every event, every circumstance. And while I may not understand it all, I can rest in His promises and goodness. For me. For my clients and authors. For my family and friends. For the world. Because of Him, I can be at peace, no matter what happens in my career or in the world.

It is God, friends, and only God, who defines us best. As people. As writers. As those seeking to serve Him with our talents and skills.

May we spend 2013 going ever deeper into Him.

30 Responses to 2012: Defining Moments

  1. Connie Almony January 2, 2013 at 6:53 am #

    Yes and Amen!
    I have many friends and family wondering about “the last days” and “are we close.” But I am convinced that we are not to know the time and the date BECAUSE we are to live the same no matter how close we are. What is our answer to the last days? The same as the answer all the days before—Jesus. I rest in that!
    Thank you again, Karen, for your empowering words.

  2. Robin Patchen January 2, 2013 at 6:54 am #

    Amen. A beautiful way to start the first business day of 2013. God is in control. Thanks, Karen.

  3. Bonnie Lacy January 2, 2013 at 7:03 am #

    Great post. Good word. Thanks!

  4. Sherry Gore January 2, 2013 at 7:05 am #

    Such profound words, Karen. Thank you for putting them to paper.

  5. Lisa January 2, 2013 at 7:43 am #

    Thank you for such encouraging words. God does whisper restoration. In that promise we can live in hope :)

  6. Dina Sleiman January 2, 2013 at 8:01 am #

    Excellent post, Karen. Kind of sums up how I’ve been feeling. Weary, yet I feel like God is giving me hope to keep pushing on.

  7. Jennifer Sienes January 2, 2013 at 8:16 am #

    Thank you, Karen, for that beautiful reminder of how we’re to respond to the ever-increasing evil in this world. If God is for us, who can be against us? Amen?

  8. Leigh DeLozier January 2, 2013 at 8:24 am #

    As the Christmas card one of my friends sent said, “When it all comes down to it, all that really matters is Jesus.” Thanks for the wonderful reminder as we start this new year.

  9. Ann Shorey January 2, 2013 at 8:47 am #

    Thank you, Karen! Worthy words. Peace in Christ is my personal goal for 2013.

  10. Susy Flory January 2, 2013 at 9:04 am #

    And yet…God.
    This is beautiful, true, and wise. Thanks for this, Karen.

  11. Joanne Kraft January 2, 2013 at 9:35 am #

    Beautifully simple and simply beautiful. Thanks for the encouragement, Karen.

  12. Anne Baxter Campbell January 2, 2013 at 9:44 am #

    God Is, and That’s Enough. He’s enough. He’ll get me there, bring me through, heal me, lift me, provide all that I need. Never all that I want, and praise God for that.
    Amen; may Your Word ever increase.

  13. Lynn Squire January 2, 2013 at 9:44 am #

    Blessed hope. :)

    The women’s Bible study based on the book of Job that I led ended in September. A year and a half of studying the ultimate in loss and suffering. I felt as though I’d come to the end of a marathon. But you know what the Lord taught me through it? Trust in Him. He’s the Creator and He is in control. Nothing really new, just a deepening.

    Fact is, hardships come our way. We can pray until we are blue in the face, and it may not change our situation. What defines our faith is not whether our prayers get answered the way we think we should have them answered. What defines our faith is HOW we endure those hardships. Do we have peace of heart and mind? Will we still praise God even if we don’t get what we want, even if we lose everything, including our health?

    Fact is, if you’re saved, you’re only traveling through this ‘country’ and you’re not a citizen of this ‘kingdom’. Don’t let its dust stick to you.

    By the end of last year, I started each morning writing out this verse:

    “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end of for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;” I Peter 1:13

    Our blessed hope comes.

  14. Michele O. January 2, 2013 at 9:51 am #

    And yet…God.
    Love this! It all begins and ends with Him. And we are responsible for the actions in between. Learn, understand, and accept everyone. There is such a disconnect within our parts and that is where the breakdown happens. Only He can reconcile and repair, but we must be willing examples of His perfect unconditional acceptance.

  15. Carrie Miller January 2, 2013 at 11:32 am #

    Hi Karen,
    This is beautiful! It reminds me of the importance of staying in the word and abiding in the Lord. How easy it is to become distracted by the world and by fear. The amazing thing is, our deepest fears can be settled with the truth in what you said, “God is” and His words, “I Am.”

    I also just want to say, I love the voice in your writing. I have never met you, yet I feel I can hear you speaking and know a bit about who you are, through your writing. Thank you!

  16. Jeanne January 2, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

    Karen, beautiful post. Thanks for the exhortation to not let the circumstances in my life determine how I live. Instead to let that God-given purpose determine how I live. Your encouragements are just what I needed today. Thank you!

  17. Kristy L. Cambron January 2, 2013 at 12:35 pm #

    God is…
    Thank you, Karen. This was so beautiful!

  18. Dianne Price January 2, 2013 at 12:36 pm #

    Karen, what a marvelous reminder. Our family suffered some heartaches and tragedies last year, but we all came through stronger and more in love with our grace-giving, faithful Lord. It helps me to remember that only God knows when we will be called into his presence. How uplifting to know that His perfect will is in control, not the President’s, not Congress, not even our own. May God continue to bless you and others through your writing.

  19. Kimberly E. Lepins January 2, 2013 at 12:50 pm #

    Karen,
    thanks for your powerful post! I just don’t know how people do this journey without Hope, the Author of Hope where our help comes from!!!! Take the x out of our external circumstances and what do we have? Hopefully an eternal perspective!
    Happy New Year!

  20. Julie Surface Johnson January 2, 2013 at 1:13 pm #

    Thank you, Karen, for the much-needed reminder! May 2013 be a year of keeping an Eternal Perspective!

  21. Peter DeHaan January 2, 2013 at 4:32 pm #

    “And yet…God” is all we really need. Thank you for the reminder.

  22. Karen Ball January 3, 2013 at 12:24 pm #

    Thanks, everyone, for your kind responses.

  23. Jan Thompson January 3, 2013 at 12:59 pm #

    “It is God, friends, and only God, who defines us best.”

    Thank you for the reminder!

  24. Patti Jo Moore January 3, 2013 at 9:34 pm #

    Thank you Karen–your post blessed me! :)

  25. Lenore Buth January 3, 2013 at 11:09 pm #

    Karen, I agree with everyone else. This is profound and so encouraging. Thank you.

    Blessings on all you do and always with heart.

  26. S. Kim Henson January 4, 2013 at 12:10 am #

    He can. He can. He can. This post is so comforting, especially since some of 2012’s drama is still fresh and hit the holiday season hard. Thank you!

  27. Tari Faris January 4, 2013 at 9:11 am #

    I know I am late commenting. But this week even especially today God has been giving me the word Hope. I just live when God allows us to see confirmations of what he is teaching us when we need it. Great post. Thanks.

  28. Elisabeth Allen January 8, 2013 at 10:12 am #

    Happy New Year … even if it is a little bit later! This may be my favourit new year post this year. Thank you for reminding of us these great (REALLY great) truths.

  29. Bonnie Leon January 9, 2013 at 12:41 am #

    Thank you, Karen.

    Breathing more deeply now.

    Thank you.

  30. patti iverson January 10, 2013 at 12:26 am #

    <3 Him—<3 you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *