My heart is full.
I have gone from feeling like a failure to feeling like I’m making progress.
To fully understand the delight I am finding in my new word for 2017, there is history to be told.
When I began this whole ONE WORD journey back in 2013, I didn’t really realize the impact it would make. Nor did I realize how God would give a steady progression of growth through my ONE WORD choices.
Finding peace with God was my first step. And finding His peace in all situations I encountered. I continue to fall back on His peace MANY times throughout my days.
Then, aspiring to do more…to be more…to live more fully. Aspiring to know Him more. Still working on that one. It will be a lifelong process, I’m sure.
Disciplining myself to spend more quality time with God. Sounds basic. But this is where I fell apart. 2015 was a crazy year. A year filled with turmoil, change and heartache. For the full story, you may want to look back at last year’s blog post…it’s so much to repeat here. Suffice it to say that it was a very difficult year. VERY difficult. And discipline was thrown out the window. To the curb. Forget it.
God said to me, in His still small voice, “Renew. Breathe. And just renew your spirit.”
I felt like I could breathe again. I felt like I just needed to take Him at His word and trust in His goodness to me. And so I began 2016 with a hopeful heart of just finding out once again who I was in Christ, and who Christ was to me. To let go of all the angst of 2015 and breathe in the breath of God into my soul. To breathe it in so deeply that I knew without a shadow of a doubt that He is GOOD. He is KIND. He is GENTLE. He is LOVING. That He would never let me down. To know that His goodness wasn’t dependent on my perception of His performance. My heart HAD to be renewed to that level as it was moving ever closer to the loss of my dad to cancer. I had to rest and find peace again in who God is.
Just rest in His goodness.
And so I did. I rested in Him. And laid my dad to rest in His arms in May.
And then had the joy of seeing my oldest son marry his princess in June.
Without that rest and renewal of my heart up until that point, I would not have been able to fully embrace and enjoy my son’s moment, because I would have been caught up in my grief.
Throughout this whole first half of the year, God was blessing me with His peace through music and worship at the new church we started to attend last January. God truly showed Himself to my heart through that place, and I am forever grateful for the gift He gave.
There were so many songs that spoke to my soul and brought healing to my heart. “It is well with my soul…” ; “Let Your joy be greater than my grief…I have set my heart, set my, set my heart on You…” ; “Let the King of my heart be the wind inside my sails, the anchor in the waves, Oh He is my song…Cuz You are good, good, oh….You are good, good, Oh…You’re never gonna let, never gonna let me down…”; “You’re a good, good Father, it’s who You are, it’s who You are, and I’m loved by You…”. So many. So many tears. Healing tears. Helpful tears. Tears of peace.
And so, I come to the end of 2016 with a renewed heart and a renewed spirit. I haven’t “arrived” by any means, but my heart is at a better place. A place of peace and love.
My heart is full.
And yet, I know it is not as full as it could or will be.
For 2017, God wants me to spend more time in His PRESENCE. To find that fullness of joy in Him. To experience His love in a more intentional way as I sit with Him. In His PRESENCE.
I was beginning to feel that my new word for 2017 would be “presence” toward the beginning of December. God confirmed that to me during a time of silence we had during worship in mid-December. During that time, I felt God’s Spirit speak in His still, small voice to me: “This is what I want from you.”
And so, 2017 brings me to a place of finding out more fully what it will take to make time to sit in His Presence. And I want to. Without my year of renewal, I don’t think I would have been able to say that.
And so it begins…