Saturday, January 1, 2011

A New Decade



Photo Credit: Martha Stewart


A happy and blessed new year to each and every one of you! I am so thankful for new beginnings. For the chance to start again. A fresh start. For another opportunity to do those things that I think I cannot do. To push through. To learn from what I thought were limitations. To rise above the obstacles, adversity and incredibly painful experiences that tried to take up permanent residence in my life and in my heart over the past year.

2010 is the end of a year that we are thankful to let go of but more importantly it is the end of a decade.
The end of a ten year long lesson on overcoming. Rising above. Coming undone. Being unraveled.
And most importantly learning, growing and becoming closer to Him through it all.

I have clung to Him. In ways in which I could never write about here. Through experiences that I am saving to share about in the book that I believe He is bringing forth. Things I never dreamed I would have to walk through.

But I am thankful that I did.

Over the last ten years I have been pressed down so hard I didn't think I would ever recover. We have walked through so much and our testimony has grown so wide and so deep that at times, our circumstances caused us to question our faith.  Do we really believe what we say we believe?

Yes. We do. I do. I know that God is good and that He is for me and not against me no matter what the circumstances look like. I trust Him still . Even though He has allowed untold hardship and adversity. Many years of it.

I know Him to be good, and loving, and faithful even when our lives and situations do not match His promises.  He is still good.

He has blessed me with a family of my very own and woke me up this morning and gave me the start of a brand new year with each and every one of them.

I can't sing His praises enough for that and that alone.


Last year during this time I prayed a prayer that changed my life. I asked in that prayer that God would fulfill His purpose. That He would have His way. That His will would be done- no matter what. And that He would remove any and all hindrances. That He would unravel any false beliefs or anything that was keeping me from Him. That also, He would remove any person from my life who was not really for me and my family. Who was not the real deal. That He would show me - clearly- so that I did not waste any more time and energy and effort with things, situations and friendships that were not from Him or that were not of Him.

Not everyone is meant to be a part of our destiny. There are just a few. The faithful ones.

And I wanted so desperately to know them.

I wanted the divinely orchestrated in every single area of my life.

I have such a big family whom I love caring for that I no longer wanted to waste any time away from them on friendships that weren't at all what He had planned for me.

I wish someone would have warned me what was about to happen when you pray a prayer like that.

He is faithful.

Talk about unraveling my life. Talk about revealing the hidden things. Talk about showing me clearly who was really for me and my family.

Imagine how heartsick I was when my own Mother walked out of my life. Again. There are days that it is still so hard for me to believe. Especially after all the years that the Lord restored. Or so I thought.

There have been days over the past year that I could barely stand because the process that I prayed for was just too much. I wanted it to stop and did not want to know another thing. I pleaded with Him as one by one He uncovered betrayal after betrayal and mean spirited hearts. I was being unraveled as He revealed the hidden things in my life......

Sweet Jesus.

He showed me friendships where I had given way too much and was just being used over and over again. He showed me a friendship that was so one sided and was completely for the sole benefit of the other person- who seemed to have developed a hobby of copying every single thing I did. Whether it be my clothes. My children's clothes. Things in my home. The way I write. The way I talk. The way I give gifts and pull things together in my home.  The way I decorated my nursery- as humble and minimal as it was.  Everything and made no apologies about it. She was relentless.

It was heartbreaking for me to feel so used after giving so much.

He even allowed my cell phone to ring by mistake one afternoon and allowed me to hear a conversation between two "friends" who were with one of my children on a play date. I sat and listened with tears streaming down my face as my "friends" criticized and judged me up one side and down another about the size of my family, among other things.  I remember hanging up the phone,  going straight to the play date to pick up my child and never mentioning a word to anyone. I was thankful for the knowledge as painful as it was but I was so hurt and felt like giving up on ever finding a single divine friendship.

He showed me very clearly exactly what I had asked Him to .....He also allowed me to even discover someone doing her best to impersonate me on line- even stealing my posts and highjacking my spirit and doing her best to emulate me. Someone who caused a lot of problems for me in real life was now attempting to do the same thing in the blog world. A true enemy.

And He challenged me to pray for them. All of them and so many others and other situations that I haven't even mentioned. They are too numerous to even mention.

I pressed through praying for them one by one. All of them. Through tears and what felt like a pain inside my bones, I have spent the last year praying for and blessing those who have hurt us, rejected us, wronged us, betrayed us and who have spitefully used us- just like He asked us to.

And it has pressed me and challenged me in ways that I never knew were possible.

All of this and so much more made me want to never write another post again. Go private or close it down and retreat to simply be alone with my family.

Exactly what the enemy wanted.

From the very first post ~ the very first day~ over three years ago,  I have given Him the glory and written about Him and my own personal experiences that have tied me to Him.

It wasn't something I saw someone else doing- and then tried to copy it. I knew no one in the blog world and I knew of no one in real life who had a blog.

It is completely and one hundred percent original. So it is painful when someone tries to steal what He has done. It cuts down to the bone and marrow. And has made me want to stop writing. Completely.

It is and has always been His original idea~ and I have always felt humbled and honored to be the vessel typing the God-breathed words out on the keyboard. I have always loved writing here and am very passionate about it and have felt such despair over what I have walked through this past year personally.

It has definitely been reflected in my lack of posting.

And so after spending some time with Him and receiving those things that only He can give....

I am going to press on and press in and refuse to retreat or shrink back or write less in the new year. I am keeping closer to Him than ever before and refuse to be less than who has called me to be but desire to continue on no matter who or what tries to stop what He wants to do.  I hope and pray at the start of this brand new year and brand new decade to receive every good and perfect gift that He has for me and my family and nothing less.

And the book......my hearts deepest desire. ......I am believing this is the year.

I pray that this would be the year of the fulfillment of His promises and that ALL we have experienced and walked through and survived during the last decade would become the raining down that He talks about so beautifully in His word. That we would receive the former rain and the latter rain and every beautiful thing that He has stored up for those who love Him.

We have been praying for the raining down of recompense in the spiritual and in the natural. So you can imagine my heart singing when I woke up this morning, on the very first day of this new year to ....
the rain absolutely pouring outside. Only He could do that.

May you receive it all in the days and weeks and months to come sweet friends.

Happy New Beginnings...


23 comments:

caycee said...

Dear Sibi,

I Have been a reader of your blog for a very long time, and have absolutely fallen in love with you!! You have one of the biggest hearts I have ever seen, and it breaks my heart to hear of these horrible things your "friends" would say about you. But like you said this is a new year with new beginnings and a new sweet baby boy to love on! Just remember you and your family are beautiful inside and out and the Lord knows this, and in the end that is all that matters!!!

Happy New Year sweet girl!

Amanda said...

Sibi,

Words cannot express the empathy and sadness I feel for you. I too have let go of some friendships that were nothing but poisonous in the past several years. At times it has been so painful, but has made room in my life for Him, and for other deeply richened relationships that I may have overlooked in the past.

Please never stop writing, your words are soul medicine for myself, and many others!

So much love, and a Happy New Year to you and your BEAUTIFUL, and WONDERFULLY large family!

The Mustard Seed said...

Dear Sibi,

I found your blog shortly into my blogging adventures and have been completely addicted to your genuine heartfelt posts.

This was a such a beautiful and honest post. You are truly an inspiration in your obedience to our Father. I will pray for you and your book! I know you can do it and I look forward to reading it one day.

Wishing you many blessings for 2011 and that your life continue to bring glory and honor to His precious name.

XOXO,
Angel

Raining Pearls said...

Sweet Sibi:
My hearts breaks for you. How anyone could hurt you in beyond my imagination. You are the kindest soul I know. Whatever has happened it's in the past I know He only has the best in store for you. I have so much to say but want to email you if that's ok.

Much love to you and your precious pearls, 2011 is your year.

xoxo
Nancy

bevy said...

What a testament to true faith...

Amanda said...

I am a fairly new follower of yours... only a few months ago did I find your blog. I have been so blessed by it in the short time I have read it though. I am so sorry for what you have had to endure but so very happy that He has carried you through this. He is faithful but those times of growth can be oh so painful. You are an amazing lady & speak the very breathe of life (God's Word) to so many that need it, myself included.

Thank you for your blog & your words of comfort & encouragement. I hope 2011 brings GREAT things & beautiful blessings to you & your beautiful family.

~ Amanda

Amanda said...

I am thrilled to know of a book in the works...I'll be first in line. I am sorry for the heartaches but you have so much ahead of u...enjoy and Happy New Year

3 Peanuts said...

Oh Sibi...I had NO idea all this happened. I know the feeling of being copied too in real life and the blog world (maybe not the extent that you describe here)....but I always believe that we should look ahead and above and not behind us or below us. The cream rises to the top, my friend and you are THE TOP!

You make a difference in people's lives and you live HIS word (from what I know) and that is all that matters.

I had a sick feeling in my stomach when you described overhearing that conversation on the phone. That would make me ill. I cannot believe GROWN women behave that way. Stay the course.

I did not pray exactly the things you idd but years ago I prayed for God to surround me with Godly friends and He sure has!!!! That is my prayer for you too.I am your friend and I admire you!!!

Love,
Kim

Tiffany said...

Dear Sibi,
My heart ached for you as I read through this post. It is quite unfortunate how some women behave at times. It's a shame that they can't just be happy with their own life that they have to say unkind things about others. They need to refocus their energy. I don't quite understand and honestly don't want to understand it. I always strive to be the better person, as I know you are. You are a beautiful person inside and out. You are an inspiration to me and many others. My eyes light up when I see a new post from and I look forward to them each time. I'm always in need to read what you have to write. I do hope you continue writing this year. I will be praying for you and your family. I hope and know that 2011 will bring you much happiness with the arrival with your son. I so much look forward to continuing on this journey with you through reading your blog. Much love to you! Keep your head up!
Love,
Tiffany

Cha Cha said...

Dear Friend,

God is good, even in the pain. Wow how much our last year has mirrored each others and I did not even know. You are a treasure and I am honored to call you friend. Okay I am leaving here to send you a email.

Cha Cha

nanc said...

I'm glad to hear you will still be blogging. It's amazing how much time we can spend on 'friendships' which only drag us down. The best to you and your family.

KatieB. said...

Sibi, that was a beautiful post. You have been on my heart and mind so often the past few weeks and I'm always praying for you. Imagine how crazy that must seem, complete strangers! We all love you. You are a constant pillar of what faith and testimony mean. May God bless you and your family in 2011!

The Manager of Many said...

Happy New Year, Sibi!
Too bad we can't sit down to a cup of coffee or 20! I have felt so connected to you through so many of your posts. I often feel we share the same struggles and joys in life.
I will be praying for you and hoping your dreams for 2011 come true! Besides, I'd want to be first in line to buy your book ;0)
Best wishes in the new year!!
XOXO

Kathie Truitt said...

Oh Sibi,

I so hear what you are saying. That happened to me about 5 years ago - someone emulating me, doing the same exact things your former friend did. You were wise to get out when you did. You see, my enemy escalated into a very dangerous situation and we had to flee our home. But God is true to His word if we stay faithful to Him.

I received a book deal out of the experience. My novel is called "False Victim". I have even sold the movie rights and on January 3st on the Investigation Discovery Channel they will air a documentary about our fmily. Please e-mail me and I'll tell you more (kathietruitt@msn.com)

Hold fast in your faith!

Jo said...

Sibi ~

I read your post this morning but didn't have time to reply. You've been on my mind and in my heart all day. I {as others} have been emulated to the point where I've felt my identity has been stolen. They say it's a form of flattery but we all know it's not. It hurts. Just recently I too had to set aside a friendship that was beneficial to only one party ~ I wasn’t the one on the receiving end. I just can't imagine overhearing such a vicious conversation regarding you and knowing that your sweet daughter was right there possibly hearing those words being spoken in the other room. It’s so hard to be faced with these battles when you’re trying your very best to live your life as He has asked of you. I know you’re strong and I know you’ll rebound from this and be an even better person but nonetheless it is painful.

I’m lifting you up in pray and holding you tight in my thoughts sweet Sibi!
Jo

AmyB said...

Dear Sibi-
I have read your post multiple times today and am still struggling to find the words. I do know how mean spirited people can be and when they can hide behind a computer screen it is way too easy. It is so refreshing to see you take the high road AND continue on. I know my first instinct would be to shut it all down and hibernate, but not you! You are such an amazing AMAZING woman and I am sure you are raising an amazing family!
I am so sad you had to go through all of this in the past year. I will only pray that 2011 is a better year for you. You know it will be with your newest blessing joining you soon.
Peace be with you-
Amy

lizziefitz said...

Sibi, Dear Sibi! I sit here on this Monday morning kids back in school , much to their dismay. I was up until 2 am with my oldest who isn't happy. The move was the hardest on her and she has remembered her life in MD in a much different light than what it was in reality. I try to breathe a sigh of relief to be away from it all. I needed a clean slate.I needed to be away from the poisonous friendships. The "christ like" proclaiming people who would spill venom out of jealousy and hurt? i needed to nuture and care for my family, to feather the nest. God gave me the gift of a fresh start. I am taking it very slow ,too slow on the friend making thing but i've been burned and i am a bit gun shy. You are not alone. I pray for you , your family and your heart. Wish you lived closer, I would make you my extended family :)

Jill said...

such a beautiful post! (as all are that you share) I'm just heartbroken for your past hurts...you are such an absolute joy,I simply can't imagine someone not treasuring you as a dear friend! I am so excited for you and this new year and all it will bring for you and your precious family!- and a book!- what a wonderful gift to look forward to!
Happy New Year!
Many Blessings!
Jill

Tiffany said...

Hi Sibi --

I am Tiffany - not new to your blog but a newly able to comment. I sent you an email about 3-4 months ago, I hope you got it!

You are a blessing to me. Thank you for who you are and what you share. I am so sorry for your recent hurts - no one deserves to ever be treated that way. And I must say it take a bigger person to pray for their advosaries than return the hate.

Sending you love and prayers as you bring your newest child into the world!

xoTiffany

Mandy said...

I have read your blog for a while now, and am so inspired by your words, your life and the glory you give our Lord. May he bless you and keep you this year and remind you in times of darkness that you play and are accountable to an audience of One. In His name, Mandy

chrissiwithab said...

Oh Sibi,

You, my dear are an original. Your talent for putting words together is sublime. Simple imitators cannot stand near you.

You truly let your light shine.
Your words can bring laughter and tears and your photographs- A gift to both my eyes and my heart.

I too, will be inline for your book, but you must include your photos.

Happy New Year, Happy Baby!

chrissiwithab said...

Oh Sibi,

You, my dear are an original. Your talent for putting words together is sublime. Simple imitators cannot stand near you.

You truly let your light shine.
Your words can bring laughter and tears and your photographs- A gift to both my eyes and my heart.

I too, will be inline for your book, but you must include your photos.

Happy New Year, Happy Baby!

Love Being a Nonny said...

Somehow I missed this but it is TODAY that I needed to read it. On my knees for you dear friend.