By Kelly Carr
Thank you for walking along with me. The staff made me feel right at home right away, being patient as I learned the ropes. I’ve received emails and letters of encouragement this year from you, faithful readers. I appreciate your welcome as I took on this role. I hope you continue to find that the words on these pages are used by God to encourage you, challenge you, and draw you closer to him.
God created us to live in community. As he said about Adam in the Garden of Eden, “It is not good for the man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18). I believe that has been an abiding principle ever since. God has drawn people to each other at the same time as he has called them to himself. He knows we are stronger as a team.
We certainly find strength in the love of family and friends. We enjoy laughs and meals with friends and relatives. We’re inspired by mentors, and we’re looked up to by younger generations. We find spiritual renewal among our brothers and sisters in Christ.
At the end of a year we often reflect on our own lives—did I meet all the expectations I had for myself? what goals do I want to set for next year? But let’s also reflect on the lives who have touched our own.
Who encouraged you this year? Who was by your side to lift you up when life struck you down? Who cheered with you as you climbed to victorious heights? Who remained steady, day after day?
Different Than Before
I’m not usually a goal setter. I don’t often seek out huge changes. I see what life brings and try to go with it. But this year I had two challenges—one was a big decision and one was a big goal.
I am humbled by the support I received for both challenges. Encouragement came from places I never expected, showing me new depth in some new friendships. Faithful friends continued to remain faithful and offered prayers and cheers and listening ears. My husband, daughter, and parents lifted me up, as usual—they put up with me at my worst moments and pushed me to become better.
They say it takes a village, and I felt I had a village’s worth of supporters who helped me make my decision and meet my goal. I know without a doubt I couldn’t have made it this year without all these amazing people. I wouldn’t be who I am today without them.
I’d venture to say you are different today than you were last year at this time. Think back to who made you a better person in 2014. Then, before this year comes to a close, tell those people thanks.
Just as you find strength from others, so you also provide strength to those around you. Recognize that you have the ability to help make other people become the best they can be. Continue to find ways to do that in 2015.
We’re all stronger together.