At the start of a race, runners take their mark on the track. The starter sounds Pop! And each runner is off their mark and down the track in a full sprint. The start of 2016 caught the Jordan Family in the middle of some big life stuff to work through. We were carrying heavy burdens and facing changes right from the start. We did not have a chance to prep and train like a runner. I think we looked more like fans in the crowd who were dragged out on the track, realized they were part of a race and better get running!
Every year I select a verse for my family. It becomes our anthem in the good times, and heart cry in the bad. I started doing this a few years ago and it has become an important part of my spiritual journey.
To start the New Year, many people make resolutions. They list goals and hopes for the year ahead. I have started the practice of taking some time at the beginning of the year to reflect, pray, and ask God to open my eyes to Scripture that speaks to my family for the year ahead.
In January of the new year, my then sixteen year old stepson got his first job. It was exciting and such a growth moment! However, it also brought a permanent change to our family structure. It was time for him to make this move. My husband and I knew we were so fortunate he had spent his weekends with us for so long. But the change was hard nonetheless. I had a hard time finding that line of letting him grow up and yet keeping our family together.
At the same time as this family change, my husband was facing his own stress at work. He teaches and the school was closing. There was incredible stress surrounding that decision by the administration. Students were unnerved and reaching to their teacher for support, while at home we were uncertain about the next step as well.
For this year, God showed me Deuteronomy 31: 8, “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.” It may seem like a verse we are familiar with. We know the Lord is with us! Throughout the years as our situations have unfolded, I have gone back to this verse each time my heart falters, each time I am uncertain of the way. And the Lord has imprinted His promises on my heart in new ways.
As we continue trying to find our way in this new season with my stepson I reach for this verse. When my husband’s job situation was unclear and we were waiting for news, the Lord reassured me that we were walking side by side. I kept Deuteronomy on my phone or posted on the fridge to remind me of the promises.
As the year comes to a close, I am grateful for the lessons I have learned and where God has taken us this year. Stepmom, when you enter a new year or new season let the Lord speak to you. Choose a verse for your family and let it be the anthem to carry you.