Friday, January 04, 2013

A New Start

Coastal View of Guernsey
At the start of this new year I am so grateful to God for the year that has just ended and really looking forward with hope too. After 15 years of dreadful pain and repeated hospital admissions, with horrible experiences of life-threatening situations and disappointments too numerous to mention, it is such a relief to say that things are better now.  This time last year I started full-time work again after over 4 years of being unable to function and the time since then has been full of joy and challenges. We have been given a new start and a new opportunity after so many years of struggle. I am thankful for the love of family and friends and the prayers of so many.  Life has certainly taken on a new dimension for me, in that every day seems so precious and each moment a gift from heaven.

I do feel very keenly for those who still struggle with the kind of pain and difficulties I have known and much worse besides.  'Survivor guilt' is a phrase you might have heard and it describes the feelings of those who have come through dreadful circumstances where others have not and it can be a part of what is now known as post-traumatic stress syndrome.  Well, maybe I don't go that far, but I do feel a deep sense of compassion for my fellow travelers on the pathway of pain and hope that my books and preaching may in some small way contribute to helping them.

May the God of hope fill you with joy and peace as you trust in him; and may you overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13).  Happy New Year!