From a nearly snow-free Kharkov, Ukraine I wish y’all a blessed New Year!
I deviate from the ‘happy’, not because I don’t want you to be happy, but because it is mostly based on a feeling. I am happy when I feel happy.
Being blessed goes way beyond it – we can be blessed under any circumstance and it doesn’t depend on how we feel.
I like that, because to be honest, I don’t feel happy a lot of the time. Right now I actually feel quite depressed… not a very happy start of the New Year…
The meaning of the word ‘blessed’ in my humble opinion is not something you get from a dictionary. I am getting at the Biblical meaning, where the word ‘bless’ and ‘blessing’ originated. It is knowing that God is the origin of every good thing in both this life and the next, as the Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary explains. In that sense it doesn’t depend on us, but on Him. Which is just as well, because He isn’t like us. We can depend on His goodness, because He never changes, like we do.
Therefore I can’t deny that I am blessed. Blessed with so many friends who are so happy to see me here in Ukraine.
Blessed with a place I can stay all by myself and recuperate from all the visits and talking and listening I am doing these days.
Blessed with all my friends in the Netherlands who have been and continue to be faithful in their support of me, as a person, and when I was a missionary abroad.
Blessed being part of the youth leader’s team and spending time with young people, getting to know them and walk a part of their life with them.
Blessed with friends in other parts of the world (like America and England).
Blessed with my own apartment in the Netherlands.
And no, I don’t understand the troubles I have been through the past 4 -5 years as I can’t see much good in those years. It has been excruciatingly painful, difficult and stressful. During that time I would have considered dying a blessing… quite the opposite of the Biblical meaning of the word.
The blessing is in the fact that I am alive, that I have lived through it despite myself, and that at this stage I can say that I am glad to be still here.
After all those terrible years, I am finally looking forward to the New Year, I am eager to find out His plans for me, I enjoy dreaming my dreams, and wanting to explore ways to bring them to pass.
Even though I know I am dealing with a mood disorder that throws me of my course on a regular basis, I also have come to the point where I not only believe, but know it will not stand in the way of living my life to the fullest including living my dreams.
It might hamper me, it might stand in the way, it might make me stumble and fall, but it is possible to get up again and continue on my way. To me, that is good news, which is a blessing!
I wish you all a New Year full of God’s blessings and eyes to see His goodness amidst the struggles and difficulties, and the happy and joyful moments of your life!