I started this year off amped with excitement. My motto was, “she stood at the door of hope, and she walked in.” The year started out great… not to say the rest of the year didn’t. But it was much harder than I imagined.
“Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her.”
This verse hit me in a whole new way this year… For one thing it begs the question… “what is blessing… what does it mean to be blessed?” And secondly, “how do we have that kind of trust?”
I’m learning that blessing is simply knowing God and being known by Him. It’s that beautiful exchange. It’s in those sweet moments when I meet Jesus, and He graciously fills up my lantern with oil so that I can endure, I can remain always ready as I eagerly await His return.
When we face disappointment and learn pretty much everyday that our plans are not God’s… we cry out… “How do we believe for the impossible… how do we trust like that?” In this broken world, it is crucial that we rely on Christ’s sufficiency alone, the fact that He makes up for all we lack. Believe me… this year it was very clear to me that the world in which I live in is broken. Also that the optimism inside of me living in this broken world is quick to fade as soon as I start to live by sight and feelings and not by faith.
Some things I’ve learned in 2018… I can’t always look to my circumstances to tell me that God loves me, He is for me, and He is good to me… as soon as I do that, an unreal amount of doubt sets in. I need to always be subjecting all of me (my heart, my mind, my emotions, my will, my soul, my ENTIRE being) to truth. I’ve come to understand what Paul was saying first hand when he said in 1 Corinthians 9:27, “I discipline my body and make it my slave…” all I have to do is look at the cross to know that God loves me, He is for me, and He is good to me… so that’s what I’ve been disciplining myself to do… STARE at the cross. When my heart, mind, emotions, will, soul, entire being tells me that it’s not true… I remember that I’m a flawed human being and I don’t know better than God… I choose to trust Him and trust that even in the pain He knows exactly what’s He’s doing. He doesn’t waste a single moment. Something else I’ve been hit with lately is the recognition that yes life shouldn’t be this way… but what makes me think my life is so important anyways? What makes me think I’m even deserving of a better life? Really, I’m not. And really, I’m pretty darn blessed. I once was dead in my trespasses and sins and I’ve not only been forgiven but I’ve been raised to life. Literally I was dead and now I’m alive in Christ. The Lord humbled me the other day and reminded me just how small and insignificant I am. I’m a speck of dust in the grand scheme of things, yet in that reminding of how small I was, He also reminded me that yes, I’m so not worthy, but still at the same time I’m so loved and the sacrifice He made on my behalf was so worth it.
I’ve been trying to STARE at the blessings, and focus on thankfulness and the little ways God has provided for me… which actually when we make it our focus, they become BIG ways. This year I was given the opportunity to publish a book and encourage many hearts in Christ, I’m sure more than I’m even aware. Through that act of obedience, the Lord then led me to be a dorm mom in Kenya to 16 beautiful girls. I’m so glad I was given the time with them that I had, though it was much shorter than planned. I still see it all as a miracle. When leaving Kenya, I was sent off with huge deposits of love from my dorm girls and from my cherished new friends who I miss dearly. Since coming home the Lord has found me a very lovely family to live with, the perfect fit. Before leaving He led me to become a member at a church that I love and believe me, when you feel like you are homeless in every sense, it’s so nice to have even just one place that feels like home— that was Elim Church for me. The Lord has brought professional help into my life that has really benefitted me and I’m so hopeful about it. He’s also been extremely gracious with me in this season of feeling and sometimes letting my feelings rule my relationship and what I think about God. Yeah there’s no doubt it’s been a tough last few months, definitely not what I expected, but He’s been faithful and I’m going to choose to believe He remains faithful.
In this unpredictable life, He is my predictability. In this broken world and in this broken human being, He is what is whole. When no where feels like home, He is, my safe place, my refuge. In a world where nothing can be trusted, He can. In a not so beautiful life (in my mind anyway), His life given for me is. In the waiting on dreams and longings to be fulfilled, He is my fulfillment (oh would I STARE at that alone!).
Christ is my sufficiency.
Here’s to a new year of learning to accept the mystery, growing in a deeper, more genuine relationship with the One I love, and being made into an image that better reflects the One who lives inside of me and who died to enter into a relationship with a mere creature like me.
My only cry for 2019…
When people see me, would they see Jesus.
When they encounter me, would they encounter Love.
When they meet me, would they meet Grace.
When they come to know me, would they know Christ
… That God would get the glory in my life.
“My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him.”
Happy New Years!!