One day, a teenage Benjamin Franklin entered the Boston home of the renowned Reverend Cotton Mather. After their lengthy discussion, he walked Franklin through a tight doorway on the way out with a low beam as Mather told him, “Stoop, stoop!”. Not paying attention, Franklin bumped his head on the beam. The older, wiser Mather found a teachable moment: “You are young and have the world before you. Stoop as you go through it and you will miss many hard thumps”.
All his life, Franklin never forgot Mather’s immortal words.
2019 has produced many good things, and yet, it has been one of my worst years.
Can I be brutally honest, since you are my friends? I have taken quite a lot of shots this year, and am a bit beaten from the beams. Frankly I, like several others I have spoken to, am soooo ready for a new year! Now, this is NOT one of those downer letters that you read and feel sad after reading it.
The good news is yet to come, so please keep reading!
A dear friend of mine once said:
“In life, you are either in front of the fire, in the fire, or have just come out of it!”
Last month, I listed out 27 things that we were facing in our immediate family so we had to put out “an emergency prayer broadcast text” to many of our family and friends to get spiritual and emotional support. We felt overwhelmed, to say the least.
It felt like I had the Midas Touch…in reverse!
We have had multiple opportunities fall through.
We have been hit on every side financially.
Our children have undergone several struggles.
We received THE call that no parent should ever receive.
I was diagnosed with walking pneumonia and battled it for 2 weeks before we knew what it was and felt deathly sick. And so on…
Have you ever felt that way? When everything seems to go wrong, and nothing is working?
…had people praying.
…kept us through the storms.
…was fighting our battles!
We cried, we sang, we praised and worshipped, we prayed, and somehow, with His Grace and Strength, we kept moving forward.
King David said, “When my heart feels overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” (Psalm 61:2)
Friends, I have determined to be humble and contrite in my life’s posture. Sometimes, I have been humbled, and even humiliated, but through it all, I have learned to trust God, persevere and keep expecting the best.
Despite the challenges you’ve faced this year, how have you decided to move forward?
Here’s my point:
During this holiday season, reflect on your 2019. Did it bring you what you wanted? Were there some unexpected twists and turns?
There’s a new year on the way! Enjoy this wonderful Christmas with those you love-cherish them-and have the best holiday season ever. Breathe it in deeply. Know that life is so precious.
Then, join me in expecting a phenomenal 2020 full of clarity, charity, and prosperity!
It is our deepest hope and desire that you and your family have a very Merry Christmas!
Blessings and Much Grace,
John, Sherri, and all the Buckley Tribe
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