Happy New Year! Welcome 2017!

Howdy, Laura here. Wow, 2016 was a doozy. New Years Eve was great though. What’s better than saying goodbye to the past and embracing the future? Ours was a typical pinoy-style midnight gathering with friends, food, and noisemakers. No ball dropped, but we did get to see a nice firework display shot off by a wealthy attorney a few blocks over. And we got our hearts and adrenaline thumping from the painfully loud firecrackers the neighbors had banging down the street.

Going to speak from the heart for a moment.

Fear Creeps In

As a mom and a believer in Jesus, I don’t give in to fear. Like ever. But as I stood on the street with my husband and kids enjoying the exuberance all around me, under the glow of the fireworks… fear crept in. Every bang, crack, boom made me smile and yet I quivered inside a bit.

My four year old couldn’t handle it. With sheer terror in his eyes he screamed at us and demanded we put him inside the car where he proceeded to watch the fireworks in “safety.” I did all I could to reassure him that he was safe, with a big smile on my face, I said “look, this is all for fun, you’re fine.”

But honestly, I was afraid too. Just three nights before, on Dec. 28, there was a terrorist attack on a town only a 30 minute drive north of us. It happened in Hilongos, at the town plaza, during a fiesta celebration not far from the hospital where my son was born. Explosions tore through the air and people screamed in fear.

And here we were, standing outside on the corner of our city’s own plaza. I consciously questioned our safety as the revelers carried on bang, bang, bang screaming “Happy New Year!” all around us. As the motorcycles roared by with riders blowing on obnoxious horns, with the scraping, clanging of metal cans dragging on the ground behind, I paused in fear.

I know the fear I felt is nothing compared to what millions are enduring in other parts of the world. I can’t even begin to imagine the terror and horror inflicted on the people of Aleppo. The parents who can’t reassure their little ones that everything will be fine. God, be with them! And may this new year see the end of the bloodshed and unrest!

No to Fear

My only reassurance is that God is indeed with us. He sent us Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us, to save us from the very real fire of hell. To save us from the living hell we inflict on each other. To bring us peace and safety. You see, this world is not our home. My confidence to face each day, even in the face of terrorism too close for comfort, is that I belong to Jesus. And if my family’s days are short, He will take us home.

Happy New Year, dear friend. My prayer for you this year is that you don’t give into fear. But instead cling ever tighter to Jesus, who loves you more than anything. Peace to you.

“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”
John 14:27 NLT

New Year, No to Fear

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