2012 Year in Review

~~ Romans 8:28-39 (NIV84) ~~  And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.... If God is for us, who can be against us? ...Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? ... No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Photo by Carley Cooper.  All Rights Reserved.

Well, here we are at the end of another year.  Have you made any New Year’s resolutions?  I’ve made the typical ones... I’m gonna restart my healthy living program, stick to it, and reach my goal weight for the final time.  Other than that I don’t tend to make many new resolutions.  But, you don’t want to hear about those anyway, I’m sure.  As  you look back on the past year, what do you see?  What memories are the highlights and the lowest points?  What did  you learn?  How have you grown?  Did  your relationship with God grow as well?

High to Low & Back Again
My year started out on a high point and quickly turned into a downward spiral.  An upsetting incident triggered a bad Bipolar Disorder episode which lasted six months.  I went into a series of breakdowns and had the worst mixed episode I’ve ever had.  (A combination of depression and mania episodes that quickly change from one to the other are what BPD people call a ‘mixed episode.)  The incident that triggered all this was when things went bad between me and my counsellor.  I lost my spiritual therapist and one of my most important friends at the same time.  I had more medication changes and adjustments than I’ve ever had in my life.  Counseling and therapy was at a close second to that.   

There’s Always an Up Side
On the  positive side of things, I have learned I am stronger than I thought I was.  I also came out the other end with some incredibly strong relationships.  I know that God will not lead me through anything that I’m not strong enough to handle.  This year; my writing improved, my patience was enhanced , the peace inside my heart has grown.  I had a man say to me that he loves to see me around our apartment building because I ‘smile with my eyes.’  It made me feel good to hear that. 

The highlight of my year happened this past week.  As I write this I’m in the car traveling with my family.  Eight of us had a vacation in Florida together.  We spent four of our vacation days at Walt Disney World.  It was my first time there.  Wow!  The Magic Kingdom really is... well.... magical!  I got to have my photo taken with most of my favorite characters.  Eh hmm... the big guy himself kissed me twice.  Yep, Mickey Mouse kissed my hand and my cheek.  How cool is that?!  I also got to take a river boat ride, a train ride, an African safari (at the Animal Kingdom park), beat an African drum, experience a tiny taste of Italy (my dream vacation) and a few other countries (at Epcot), and watch the big Disney Christmas parade live (twice).  It was a  once in a  lifetime experience and I highly recommend it to everyone who is a child at heart. 

However, you know what I think the highlight of my vacation was?  It wasn’t the music, colors, animals, people, or the magic of the kingdom.  It was Christmas Day and it happened during one of the parades I watched going down Main Street, Disney.  There were two people who wore t-shirts; and written on the back in large letters was “Happy Birthday Jesus”.  It really brightened my whole vacation.  Another day, I saw a sky writer write “Jesus” and “God” across a clear blue sky.  It filled my heart with joy to see these things.  It’s what I think about first when I remember the wonderful days that I just experienced with my family. 

God Does Not Waste Anything
That counselor that I had lost the friendship with was eventually worked out.  It’s not the same as before.  I miss it, and he’s told me he does as well.  However, we’ve both grown from our experience together.  He’s told me many times that God does not waste anything.  My problems have helped me grow in so many ways.  What problems did you have in 2012?  How did God use them to create a blessing for you?  Share with me in the comment section below.  I’d love to hear your stories.            

Let’s Pray
 ~~ Dear God ~~  Your ways do not always make sense to our limited human minds, but I know that everything I go through will be used by You for my own good, if I keep Jesus in focus.  Thank You Father for everything, including the difficult times, for I know that those times mean You care enough about me to want to mold me into someone like Jesus.  In Jesus name, AMEN.

Now It’s Your Turn
Thoughts?  Questions?  Want to share your story?  Ask for prayer?  Please consider sharing in the comments section; even if the link you clicked to get here was on another site(If you’re on the homepage, click on the post headline, and scroll down to find the comments section.)

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  1. Carley went to the magic kingdom--!
    :-D Ya!

    1. It was so much fun. I'm still sorting through photos and organizing them. Once I'm done I will post some albums on Facebook. I will send you the links if you'd like to see the pics.

  2. I did not really reflect on 2012.
    I'm jumping in 2013 with both feet and hoping to reach my goal weight and reduce the binging by getting closer to God and finding more peace in my life no matter the circumstances.

    But,at the same time, i'm looking to find those things because of the things that triggered my binges in 2012.
    And you are right, God did help me through and made me stronger.

    Now you make me want to reflect.
    The influence that you have on me is really weird. ;-)

    Glad you had a good time at Disney World. I never went. Maybe someday!
    Hug. Miss you. Hug

    1. Lise, it touches me heart to know that I can have such an affect on someone. I hope you are blessed by my work. I'm still organizing photos of Disney, but once I'm done I will post some albums on Facebook. I will share the links to the albums with you if you'd like to see them. Hugs.

  3. Beautiful prayer, Carley! I had no idea that you worked through half the year with difficulty. Six months is a long time. In response to getting back to our goal and treating our body (Temple of the Holy Spirit), here's a prayer that my friend Sweetlips encouraged us to share:

    “Heavenly Father, please help me to uphold my commitment to gaining positive health. Transform my thinking about food at a pace that is right for me so that I make choices that are consistent with weight loss and gaining health. Clear my mind of dieting and nutrition dogma that confuses, misleads me and cause me to not be as healthy as you have desired for me when I was just a thought in your mind and before creation of me in my mother’s womb. Order my footsteps so that I avoid eating out of control and to eat only when I am actually hungry and in need of fuel. Order my steps so that I resist the urge to eat when I am not hungry. Encourage me, Lord through your grace and merciful love, when I am down, afraid, angry, or any non-positive emotion to be honest with myself when it is difficult. Help me to forgive myself and others for any past indiscretions that I absorbed that have led to my weight gain. Help me Father to feel comfortable and satisfied in the shape that I am now and the resultant shape and size that you have for me. Fill my mind with truth and guide my footsteps in the best way to gain health, lose excess weight and glorify you. Thank You for Your endless mercy and grace. Amen. "

    May you be richly blesssed in 2013 with many more great months than not so great ones. You are such a beautiful child of God and am grateful for your friendship. Hug, hug -- (ejoy) Evelyn

    1. Thank you Evelyn for sharing that prayer with me. It's beautiful. My ladies bible study group at church just started doing the Made to Crave study. I shared this prayer with the leader in hopes she'll share it with the group. Blessings. HUGS.

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