In just over 24 hours the ball will drop. Your current calendar will need to be replaced. You can take down the 2012 football schedule from the frig. You will have to learn to write 2013 on checks and letterheads. The diet will begin and the holiday pounds will mount their rebellion.
If you are like me, you are thinking about the past year. Glenn and I have discussed it a little and we agree that, while we have been blessed beyond anything we could imagine and way beyond what we could ever deserve, the year has not been without challenges. God is faithful to bring us through difficulties and strengthen us in the process. For His guidance in the tougher times, we praise Him.
As I reflect, I’m aware that some of God’s most amazing provisions for times of trial come through His people (and sometimes through people who have not yielded to Him, but are still His instruments). There are many people who have enriched and encouraged Cindy Colley in 2012. I want to take a moment to mention a few people who have been channels of blessing for me this year. Of course, those in my immediate family are always my biggest supporters, but this list is comprised of people who are not immediate family. This is not an exhaustive list, but I have praised God many times for the way these people have impacted my life and family during the last year.
- Homer Smith. Homer found my daddy last January 13th on the auditorium floor of the Jacksonville church building. He had been there in a state of relative unconsciousness for quite some time. This man cared enough to hunt my daddy when he was missing and had the presence of mind to administer just the care needed to get him to the hospital in time to save his life. Then he helped us–he served us– in a myriad of ways as my dad’s health was mercifully restored. He was a champion of second-mile ministering. He is now my favorite cousin. Is that okay, everyone else? (And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Matthew 5:41)
- Dr. Charlie Williams. He just did all the right things at the right time. Period. (Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might…Ecclesiastes 9:10)
- Sam Mays. Sam is a man with all sorts of skills, especially the skills of an electrician. He volunteered lots of hours helping my husband to build a room for a young man to come and live with my father. He gave rides and food and friendship…all just as he was beginning to feel the effects of what he would soon discover was his own impending battle with cancer. (You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 19:19)
- Grat Tucker. Grat is that young man. I have always loved and appreciated Grat. But now that Grat is there on the premises with my father who is 90 years old, the measure of comfort he gives me is inestimable. When, for some reason, I cannot reach my father, Grat always picks up the phone. He goes to great lengths to be sure we can know that my father is okay. (Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man…Leviticus 19:32)
- Diane Tucker. Diane Tucker is Grat’s mom. She has never complained once about the fact that all of her holidays are spent in a very small garage apartment with her son, now that he is living with my father. in fact, she cleans and cooks and buys stuff and pretty much just treats my father like he is her own father….And next year, Grat and Diane will not make this list because they ARE immediate family now! (A gracious woman retaineth honour… Proverbs 11:16)
- Arnold Wright. Arnold is the most mission minded elder in the Lord’s church that I have ever known. He trained me to do personal Bible studies with alien sinners. He placed confidence in my skills as a mission worker. He invested in the mission skills of my daughter, Hannah. We have, quite literally, traveled around the world with him several times. This year, Arnold let my husband stay at home with me while he went on the most difficult mission trip of his life. He, vicariously, took the entire burden of a very difficult situation in South America and dealt with some incredibly tough scenarios all by himself. It was far more difficult than he (or we) imagined that it would be. (In fact, had the other elders known how hard it would be, they would never have let him go alone.) Not once did this soldier complain about any aspect of the work he did. A few days after he returned home, Arnold was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. We are in daily prayer for our spiritual hero, Arnold Wright. (The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise. Proverbs 11:30)
- Jennifer Benavides. I could not have done 2012’s work on this blog, on the website, in my speaking, or in the book I completed without the tireless effort and great expenditure of time on her behalf. She is more than fifty percent of any productivity that comes from this little macbook. All of this, on top of her father’s cancer diagnosis this year and her ensuing responsibilities, which were legion. (She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. Proverbs 31:17)
- Patsy Hill. She keeps my husband’s office at bay on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Therefore, she provides much happiness for our home. She also goes way above and beyond the call of duty during my speaking schedule, always providing every needed handout for every engagement. She is simply amazing. (She…worketh willingly with her hands. Proverbs 31:13)
- Sue Weldon. She is the Thursday and Friday edition of what Patsy is on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays and she is equally amazing. (She…eateth not the bread of idleness. Proverbs 31:27)
- Paul Owen. Paul is the Minister of Involvement at the West Huntsville Church. But he is so much more. That man preaches when Glenn is gone. He teaches classes, organizes our educational program, leads our visitation program, moves mountains of dirt on our building construction site, makes my husband laugh when he really needs to laugh, repurchases my husband’s shoes when my husband buys the wrong size, keeps secrets about Christmas presents, comes over to work on our tractor and move dirt in our own backyard,and has a terrific wife and is raising five wonderful kids. Involvement is an understated noun for the way he lives his life in relation to the family of Christ at West Huntsville. (Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power: That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. II Thessalonians 1:11,12)
- The friend/brother team of Matt Vega, David Shannon and Bubba Ingram… good counselors, brothers and fellow board members to my husband in the good times and bad. Those who are supporters of one spouse are necessarily supporters of the other! (We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company. Psalm 1:14)
- Jane McWhorter. Her written words, her friendship, and the mentoring that are a natural outcome of the life she has lived, in this the year of her last ladies days, have encouraged me to continue to speak on such programs for a few more years. Her example urges, encourages and blesses…and sometimes makes me ashamed. (Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. I Corinthians 11:1)
And, one final note…
If your New Year’s resolutions should include regular Bible study, may I encourage you to join our Digging Deep Study. Now’s the perfect time to jump in. It’s the resolution that makes all other good resolutions much easier to keep. None of us are perfect, but we are sanctified women who love the Word…and that’s enough.