I’m always a little fascinated this time of year with the process of reviewing what has been and what I’m dreaming will be. We all do it, don’t we? Take stock, review the year, look back for some kind of validation or confirmation of all that we’ve accomplished.
This same time, last year, I wrote the following words on my Facebook page…
Here’s the thing…even in the midst of the ugly, unsavory, weak and broken parts of our human lives, genuine is always better. Stop hiding the struggle. It is through your weakness that HE is made strong. Stop pretending to hold it all together when the only one who has control is the keeper of the stars.
Life will push you to the breaking point, but it is often there where you are forged for the mission at hand.
I don’t want to be a porcelain example of perfection. Dear God, make me into a marred and battle-worn sword in your hand. I don’t want to be gold admired in the temple: construct my life to be the battered doorway through which others come to meet you.
Turn my doubt into fearlessness and my own wounds into a healing balm for those I meet along the way.
I can recall the moment of my life when this thought made its way through my fingertips into the social media universe. I was a little scared and a lot excited. There was A LOT of new in our world; new church plant, new business, new budget, new relationships. We had no idea what the year would bring but we were ready…I was ready.
So what did we do this past year?
We went off-roading in the Arizona desert. We celebrated romance & love in beautiful places. We had a lead role in the school play. We won our spring season 10U little league baseball championship (undefeated). We found freedom as a married couple and a fresh anointing for the ministry to come. We graduated high school with honors and went on mission trips and stepped into new chapters of our lives. We taught and prayed for and led an incredible movement of women for the Kingdom of God. We spent more time together as a family. We made peace with difficult relationships. We provided safe spaces for others to come and rest and heal and grow. We experienced even more love than we were capable of giving away and watched the hand of God touch more lives than we could even imagine at the beginning of the year.
So what is coming this year?
That’s truly impossible to say.
As each year passes I ask for God to drop a fresh verse and focus on my heart. I ask for a fresh seed to be planted and the wisdom & revelation to cultivate it. Last year, it was fearless and the Saint and I settled on Isaiah 43:1 as our anchor verse for 2017. This year, the word that has settled itself within me is endure and the verse I am anchoring to is Psalm 100:5.
When the word first came to mind during my private prayer and study, I have to admit that it threw me off a little. It even scared me. I don’t want to have to endure anything this year. I don’t want to face any more trial, in fact, I want less of it in my life. But the more I studied it and the more I prayed, I discovered that the word was more related to my understanding of the character of God than my own need for strength and determination in the new year.
Only God is eternal and only His love, faithfulness, presence, and plan will endure for generations to come. But He has called me out to stand in agreement with His character, based not only on my faith in what is still to come but in the knowledge of what He has already done for me and my family.
One calendar year–525,600 minutes–is just a breath in the grand scheme of things and as much wonder and work as 2017 brought with it, it is nothing compared to what I will get to experience in 2018 and the years to come. So, I will stay faithful to my calling and opportunities to serve. I will not allow discouragement or fatigue or distractions to get in the way of growth and relationship-building. I will stay focused and constant because I am a daughter of the One who endures forever.
What about you? What incredible truth is on the horizon in 2018?
p.s. Happy New Year!