I’ve decided to start out this New Year with an honest portrayal of my life. When you read what I write you’re making a choice to journey with me, and it’s important you know what you’re getting. It’s nothing fake. If you can’t handle real and raw, then I’m giving you every opportunity to hit the unsubscribe button. The following is what I’ve been pondering:
I’ve been thinking about everything I might want to accomplish this year, but truthfully, it seems trivial. If there’s anything I’ve learned in 2017, it’s that there is very little I can control.
I’m goal oriented. I’ve lived my entire adult life making plans and then working to see them come to fruition. I pray about my goals and do my best to listen to the voice of God in my life. I’m not a quitter. But, I have to admit something: I’m really tired of trying to decipher His voice. I’m worn-out of working hard to live a life of obedience only to find myself standing in the midst of broken shards of glass. I’m exhausted from the pain that comes from walking on glass and doing nothing, nothing at all, but leaving trails of blood behind.
I’m so very tired.
The New Year is supposed to be a fresh start with new hope. It’s supposed to give life to the pursuit of dreams, but I still have the fresh taste of death in my mouth. It’s bitter and unrelenting.
I’ve worked through grief before, and I’ve come out on the other side, but this time it’s different. This year, I really DO NOT want to set spiritual goals. But, guess what? I have to be obedient. I don’t want to be, but I know better than to mess with the plans God has for me. I’m smart enough to know I can’t win that fight. I also know that someday when I can see the entire picture His plans will prove to be way better than my own. If anything in my past helps dictate my future, then fresh wounds mean fresh healing. One doesn’t come without the other. If the glass is broken then I better begin the process of sweeping. The blood of Jesus will cover my own.
Truthfully, I would rather make average life goals. I want to do things like visit the museum more often, read some classics I haven’t taken the time to read, and go see the symphony, opera, or ballet on a regular basis. (Yes, I’m a sucker for culture.) I would love to host more dinner parties and blog about hospitality. (I’ve always loved entertaining.) Maybe I’ll do those things, but I can’t only do those things. As much as I want to, I cannot run away from His call.
This year the voice of God is telling me to book speaking engagements where I can speak raw and real to women, proclaiming the truth about Jesus in the midst of hardship. I’m to keep writing about the process of living despite all the death I’ve experienced. I’m not to give up on a specific project that seems to be taking forever. (And I mean forever!)
Oh, friends, He continues pushing me to the hardest of hard, so much so it feels like He’s pushing me off the edge. It’s uncomfortable. But, since I’m being honest, let me also say I’d rather be uncomfortable than caged. I don’t want to live with soft walls all around me. I know myself, and the truth is if I don’t bump into a painful wall every now and then, I’ll forget the cross. I’m weak.
I’ve had new subscribers and social media followers lately, so as we start 2018 with honesty, let me tell you this: Yes, I have a wonderful husband and children. I have amazing friends, and we enjoy making fun memories through great experiences. You’ll see a lot of Instagram pictures to confirm. However, because of recent events, the smile in my pictures is there for one reason alone: I’m choosing to trust Jesus. Underneath my smile lie questions without answers, and fear working overtime to invade any sense of peace I have left. The truth is I’m just getting by. The other truth: Jesus is responsible for those muscles in my face working to make that smile. I wouldn’t be anywhere without Him, and I promise you it’s true.
I’m about to say something very unpopular: I’m not buying into the whole idea that God created me to be happy. Nope, not even a little. Yes, there will be happy moments and God delights in seeing His beloved smile, but I was created to own joy. Happiness and joy are very different. True joy only comes through Jesus and it’s hard fought. We tend to forget we own it. Unlike happiness, which is fleeting, Joy lives and breathes deeply within us. Nothing can steal it. However, it does require tapping into. When we finally find it, strength rises.
This year, the joy of the Lord will be my strength, and it will rise up. In John 10:10, Jesus says, “The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.” (N.I.V.) I want the abundantly full life He came to give, and I intend on having it. I will overcome through the blood of the Lamb and the word of my testimony. (See Revelation 12:11) My testimony is Christ. Nothing more. Nothing less.
- I WILL find grit inside grief.
- I Will figure out how to live despite the shadow of death.
- I Will be obedient to my calling, and give the overflow of Jesus in my life to others.
This year… I WILL.
What will you do this year?