Into the Unknown : BY CARLA GASSER

I am truly grateful to have my first guest pen from CARLA GASSER. Thank you so much Carla. Please read and be encouraged.
These lines are from “The Gate of the Year,” a poem written in 1908 by Minnie
Louise Haskins:
I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year,
“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied, “Go into the darkness and put your
hand into the hand of God. 
That shall be to you better than light
and safer than a known way!”
I stand at the gate of this New Year with a mixture of emotions.
v Anticipation and hesitation.
v Excitement and anxiety.
v Confidence and doubt.
On one hand, there is something about a new year that energizes me. A blank calendar page (well, not so much anymore), the chance to start afresh, a list of goals, and a whole year to accomplish them…I’m amped up and ready to go!!
However, the unknown can also bring fear, doubt and anxiety. Like the person in the poem above, I would like a light so that I may see what is ahead and plan and prepare accordingly.  I would feel more secure if I could chart my own course.
That isn’t going to happen though and I know it. I have to walk the path ahead not knowing what I may encounter along the way.  So do you.   We have to trust or we will stay stuck,
avoiding all risks and playing it safe.  We will miss out on what God has for us if we do not relinquish our desire to know and control what lies ahead.
I am usually pretty good at starting things. Aren’t most of us?  That is why standing at the gate ready to walk through is exhilarating.  I think back over just a few of the things in my life that I began with eagerness and anticipation: exercising, scrapbooking, organizing my recipes & trying new ones, journaling, practicing patience, reading the Bible through, eating
healthier & taking vitamins, gardening, hiking, talking less and listening more, taking pictures…and list goes on and on.
But the real question is:  what happens when I start down the path?  How do I keep my
momentum?  What if I encounter roadblocks?  Do I press on or give up?  How do I finish? Ouch. Yes, that is what I’m learning as I grow older.  
Starting is easy…finishing or even just sticking with something is hard the part.
When the newness, excitement and energy fade…where does that leave me? What if God has another route or a detour (as He usually does)?  Do I just stop and slowly slink off the track, hoping no one will notice, or do I fight through to the end?
If I depend on my own strength, I will not make it.  Of this I am sure.
So, I want to take the advice of the man at the gate and put my hand in the hand of God knowing that the safest place to be is with Him.
So that even if I approach this New Year with eagerness and hope, I can continue on when the road ahead gets tough…or I grow weary…or the obstacles seem too big to overcome.  If He leads, I can follow with complete confidence.
Proverbs 3:5-6 is one of my favorite verses and tells us how we are to walk:
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart; Do not depend on your own understanding. 
Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 (New Living Translation)
So instead of putting a lot of time and effort into making a long list of all the things I
want to start this year…
I want to be more thoughtful and reflective. 
I want to try and set aside all my plans and listen to His voice and leading. 
I want to look to the end instead of just the beginning.  
I want to invest in eternal things and prepare myself for the long haul.
And most importantly, I want to “walk by faith, not by sight” as Paul admonishes in 2 Corinthians 5:7.
So let’s walk boldly together into the unknown of the New Year, our hands firmly clasped in His, following wherever He may lead, and expecting great things.  
I am grateful to walk alongside of you on this journey!  
Please visit me

 When not teaching, writing or speaking, I am most myself as a wife and mom living in Hudson, Ohio with my four very active children (ages 18, 16, 14, & 10). I married, Michael, my childhood friend and high school sweetheart, over 24 years ago and feel very fortunate to have such a loving, generous and level headed partner and best friend. I also enjoy serving in the women’s ministry at my church, mentoring young women, and volunteering in the local public schools my children attend.  I continue to teach Bible studies and have a passion for local outreach. You can learn more about me and my ministry by visiting AT THE CROSSROADS

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Charmaine Odusina January 12, 2015 - 9:35 am

I agree Carla that the start of the New Year holds lots of conflicting emotions. I thank God that His thoughts and ways are higher than our own. I am sure that as you wait on the Lord, he will reveal some amazing plans for 2015 for you. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I loved reading them.

IFEOMA SAMUEL January 12, 2015 - 1:25 pm

I am really blessed to have Carla over here. The "mix in emotions as the year begins", is a feeling most people including myself can relate to. God knows our future and He is committed to doing His will for our lives as we trust in him.

God Bless you Charmaine.


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