15. Jan, 2019

Ros's January letter

We are in a new year. New opportunities. New possibilities. New activities. New fears...

We don't know what 2019 will bring. Past experience suggests it will be a mixture of THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY. Although we don't now all this new year will bring, there may be things that we are looking forward to in this coming year. Maybe there are things already in your diary which fill you with excitement. I have two weddings that I've been told to save the date for. Maybe you have special occasions on the horizon.

But we also find that life throws some unexpected things at us. Last year certainly did that for many of us in the fellowship, things that we would never have imagined this time last year. In many respects last year was a tough year.

Sometimes we feel as though our lives are on hold, as plans get delayed or derailed. This time last year I was waiting for an operation to remove the growth on my thyroid. I had been told that it would be after Christmas in 2017. I waited and waited... and waited some more... eventually it all happened, but not until June. 

Planning was difficult, especially for holidays, and it was frustrating to say the least. At the same time, I was waiting to move into Swanwick, and I'm still waiting on that one. Some things take a very long time to happen.

But there is one thing we can declare with confidence and that is the fact that God is with us in every circumstance of life - the good, the bad and the ugly. We have the reassurance of the promises to never leave us nor forsake us and to be wlth us to the very end. So whatever this year throws at us we know we we are in safe hands.

We also have the assurance that we don't face things alone. Jesus came as Emmanuel, which means GOD WITH US. I always find that name comforting. It is like a child's comfort blanket, something I take with me everywhere. But it is more than just something I clutch for reassurance. It is about a relationship that is intimate and real. Even when Jesus returned to heaven he didn't leave us on our own, but sent the HOly Spirit, not just to walk alongside us, but to dwell within us. How amazing is that? The Holy Spirit is also described as the Comforter. Maybe that gives us a hint that life isn't always going to be a bed of roses.

I've been spending some time putting dates in my diary and trying to make some plans for the year, whilst knowing that some of these plans have to be fluid as they depend on other people and circumstances beyond my control. But the New Year is often a time for making plans, making changes and working through priorities and also dreaming some dreams. So what are your hopes and dreams for 2019? What are our hopes and dreams as a fellowship for the coming year?

Let's journey with God together and see where he takes us...