“2014 is going to be better.”

Those were the words I shared with a girlfriend recently, as we sipped coffee and considered the heartache that she and many others had experienced over 2013. I believe those words deeply, because I’ve lived them. As 2012 drew to a close, I knew that 2013 had to be better for the hubster and me. It was going to be better for us. 2012 had been a particularly tough and exhausting year – experiencing deep loss, potential cancer, major surgery, the death of dreams, the birth of new God-sized dreams, and beginning the heart-searching, emotionally-draining yet hope-filled process of adoption training and homestudy preparation. Quite frankly, by the end of the year, we were healing, but we were flat-out DONE.

But I knew, deep down in my soul, that although we felt like we had nothing left, God was not done. There was hope. We had survived a hard year (although sometimes we wondered) and my God-sized dreams were not over. When I recalled that no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him, (1 Cor. 2:9) my spirit resounded with the truth that 2013 was going to be better. It may not be easy, but there would be purpose in my pain, and the Redeemer of my life would be the Redeemer of my days and my circumstances – sometimes it may be redemption minute by minute, but it would happen.

And it was true. The Redeemer redeemed. It was not a year without challenges, but it was a beautiful year of redemption. Our 2013 journey left us almost as exhausted as we were last New Year’s Eve as the year drew to a close, but we have seen our Redeemer in this land of the living. I could not have imagined what God had planned for us.

So friend – what do I want you to know as you start 2014? This year, it will be better. You are still alive, and God is not done. There is hope. Your dreams are not over. Dream your God-sized dreams, and dare to believe that He will honour them. Press in, and press on. You are deeply loved, and there are beautiful, miraculous things prepared for you. May you have the eyes to see them.