HAPPY NEW YEAR!
While Christmas is a time of new birth, New Year is usually perceived as a time for reflection and resolution. And so it was that last night, at twenty-to-midnight, my husband and I sat with two good friends who had dined with us, looking back over the peaks and troughs of 2015, and voicing our aspirations for the year ahead.
My eldest daughter’s sudden illness early last year, enforcing a six-month sick-leave (she’s a vicar) was of considerable concern. As was the precarious nature of the oil business and the potential affect this might have on the lives of family members involved in the industry. Add to this my mother’s ongoing night-time terrors following her eviction by my youngest sister, and – despite the mountain top experiences - we had to acknowledge there had been dark valleys aplenty in 2015.
THE SHADOW OF THE VALLEY
Perhaps the most personal to me, was the continual shutting down of my new laptop – still under warranty - resulting in constant loss of work-in-progress. While not life-threatening, it had the potential to be life-changing. Returning it to the store from which I’d purchased it, I expected it to be restored to working condition. Imagine my horror on learning that ‘working condition’ equated to ‘factory condition’. Everything had been erased!
With the loss of my 80,000 word manuscript, not to mention years of accumulated data (fortunately, stored on the Cloud, though not my contacts or past emails), I seriously began to question what God was saying. Was he telling me to give up writing? Or was he was urging me to persevere through enemy attack?
The prospect of giving up opened a huge, dark chasm in my life. Invited to share prayer needs with
Theme has always been at the heart of my writing. Not that I set out with that in mind! Being an intuitive, I find it emerges as I proceed. The message I had from God that morning was to raise the issue of ‘tethering’ in the Q&A of my completed, but as yet unpublished book Chosen or Cheated? It was a topic we’d discussed at house group the previous night, as a result of some members’ attendance at the Global Leadership Summit. I hadn’t recognised it at the time, but there in bed, I knew God was reminding me about an analogy my protagonist, Evie Adams, had made about the behaviour of a family member. These were her thoughts as she watched the higher ferry plying to and fro across the River Dart whilst awaiting its arrival in Dartmouth.
CHAINED & CHEATED?
‘Known as the floating bridge, it is not self-propelled but is dragged across the river on covered chains, which also prevent it slipping downstream. It seems to me, as we sit in the car, that this might be a picture of some people’s lives. And not just children for their parents, but sometimes, perhaps, parents for their children, or partners for one another? Back and forth, back and forth they ply, driven by an outside force; tethered to a lifestyle that inhibits freedom.’
I knew, without doubt, that this piece of writing, executed months before the GLS, had to have been prophetic - inspired by the Holy Spirit. How else could I possibly have known the way in which it was going to tie in with a theme of such international importance?
NO! CHOSEN & REDEEMED
There and then, I heard God’s voice. Clear and unequivocal, I knew his message was not for me alone. Nor will it be simply for the readers of Chosen Or Cheated? when it is published. It is for each one of us as we venture forth into the New Year. Like Evie’s family, you and I may need to be cut free of a past that has chained and tethered us …forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14
And even though there may be times when circumstances repeat in our lives and we are unable to obliterate them from our lives, God tells us we shall not be alone.
Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. Isaiah 43:
May you – each and every one of you, dear friends - know the truth of being CHOSEN; may you be set free from all that has tethered you and CHEATED you of your potential in the past; may you step out into the New Year in the certain knowledge that the Lord is with you. Happy New Year!
Merrilyn Williams, is the author of a number of traditionally published biographies, one of which was a bestseller, and she writes fiction under her maiden name, Mel Menzies. Her latest novel, a gentle mystery drama with a psycholigical twist at the end, is set in Exeter and substitutes counselling practices for police procedures. It briefly made No. 1 in the mystery category on Amazon, and has won a number of reviews.
Merrilyn is an inspirational speaker; has led writers’ workshops at The Hayes, Swanwick and elsewhere; and is often asked to take part on BBC broadcasts on a wide range of topics, such as stepfamilies; drugs; godparents; and bereavement. She blogs regularly on creative writing, speaking and relationships. Her website, www.melmenzies.co.uk An Author’s Look at Life, provides Resources to Inform, Inspire & Encourage.
Chat with her on: Twitter: https://twitter.com/MelMenzies