Romans 8:28 (NLT)- And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

 

What does New Years Day mean to you?  To me, it signifies new beginnings.  No matter how the past year - or several years - has gone we can always start over.  When we look back over the years, we can often see how God has used the good and the bad to mold us into the people we are today.

 

Has the past year been a good year for you?  Have you prospered in your work?  Has your family remained healthy?  Thank God for His goodness. 

 

Has the past year been less than perfect for you?  Have you been plagued with financial worries, ill-health, or tragedy?  Don't give up hope.  God is the God of miracles and He makes all things beautiful in His time.  He promises to work everything out for your ultimate good - even if you can't see it right now.

 

No one had a more tragic, yet happy life than Elizabeth Barrett Browning, an English Poet who lived from 1800 - 1861.  Elizabeth was born in London and was a delicate child from infancy. She was naturally quiet and loved being alone.

At 15 she sustained an injury of the spine, which further weakened her physically. Being almost bed-ridden, she gave herself to study and began to write. She could see little of the world and so she found or made a world of her own.

 

In 1839 she burst a blood vessel of the lungs and had to move to a milder climate. Soon afterwards her favorite brother, with two other young men, was drowned while sailing. These physical and mental shocks so weakened her that for years she lived in a darkened room, visited only by her family and a few intimate friends.

 

Yet God saw her through these dark times and brought her out of her trials with a sweet resignation that didn't question her Master's goodness and love. It was through these dark days that her hand produced works that made the world marvel.

 

It was at this time that her life began to change. Robert Browning had already won for himself a name. He had learned to love the invalid poetess through her works and sought her hand in marriage, to the amazement of her family and friends. He believed that she need not be an invalid all her life; love could win her to health she had never known.

 

They were married and spent four years in France and Italy. When they returned to England, Elizabeth was a new creature. Hope, love, and the Italian climate had wrought marvels. Theirs was as perfect a union as the world had ever seen. Each had poetic brilliance and power. Each had a marked individuality. Each was a compliment of the other.

 

Elizabeth Browning possessed the unusual combination of a sharp mind and thoroughly tender heart. She could treat social problems in a masterly way and at the same time she could set forth the most tender, deepest sentiments of a woman's heart.

 

 

Patricia Chadwick is a freelance writer and creator of two websites, www.historyswomen.com and www.parentsandteens.com Visit her sites and sign up for her FREE weekly newsletters.