Wednesday, December 28, 2016

limping out of 2016

2016 kicked. my. tail.

I currently type this posted up on the couch unable to move. I fell in a hole chasing wyatt while playing ninja turtles in the yard the day before Christmas Eve and severely sprained my ankle. 

I'm willing to get raw and say that this was not my year. Thing after thing went wrong. Life started hard this year and snowballed the whole way to December. Sure we were able to see a lot of beauty in between, but there was a lot of junk. Tons of tears shed. A couple of huge good-byes. 

I prayed a lot this year to have a heart like David's. To choose to see God and cling to Him even in the midst of trial. At times i clung harder than others. I told God we needed some kind of win, and it hasn't really felt like we've gotten one. But, when I snap out of my pity party, I realize that no matter what.. HE is the ultimate win. Because this world is not our home. Our win was made in Jesus Christ.

I've been thinking a lot about Job. God allowed Satan to wreak havoc on his livelihood, his family, his health, but not his life. He lived in spite of trial. I love that when Job's wife told him to curse God he said "shall we accept good from God and not trouble?" and he did not sin in what he said (Job 2:10). I also love that he had friends come to encourage him and mourn his losses. His friend Elipaz speaks encouragement over him and reminds him that those who partake in evil will sow trouble and meet the wrath of God, but that Job has favor with God and that his "piety be his confidence and his blameless ways his hope" (4:6). His friend Bildad reminds Job that if you live life by God's statutes even in trouble He will rouse Himself on our behalf (8:6).

Now my ways are not blameless. My heart has felt selfish feelings. I have felt left out by God. I have felt forgotten. But those feelings are not of God. Those are lies Satan tosses into my mind to distract of God's goodness. If I'm forgetting about the kindness and love of God then I'm more likely to spend less time with Him. Time in His word. The bible is imperative to knowing and understanding the character of God. Each story teaches about how He is faithful to His people. How He shows up. The Word of God is how I know what His voice sounds like in my life. So if I'm distracted by selfishness, I miss His voice. I miss His goodness. I miss out on time spent loving Him.

Job and David both knew that loving God and being near Him was so much better than our best day of life on Earth. They knew He was/is miraculous. That's what I want my heart to look like.

One of our pastor's preached a couple of weeks ago about harboring bad feelings towards God because He doesn't answer our prayers the way or in the time that we want. I felt like the Holy Spirit gave him that message exactly for me. 

This entire year we watched my father-in-law suffer. We watched him dwindle physically and mentally. But never, ever spiritually. He was terrified to leave his life with us. Not because he didn't trust God, but now i know it's because he saw our family as such a blessing from God. He knew heaven was going to be good. He trusted he wouldn't have anymore pain. But I think he knew there would be no more being with us and that broke his heart. Blake and I prayed that God would be merciful to him. That he would take him quickly so he didn't have to keep suffering, struggling to breathing, aching in constant pain. And God never answered those prayers the way we hoped. I spent the last days of winfred's life sitting on his hospital bed beside my broken-hearted husband hearing about winfred's glimpses of heaven that will forever give me chills. He clung to Romans 8:38 reminding his spirit that nothing could separate him from the love of God. That's what I want my heart to look like. 

Instead, my heart numbed itself towards God a lot this year. I began to quit asking Him to do big things. I let my heart believe the lie that He "wouldn't" do the big things, because that's how He works for normal people like me. My heart hurts just thinking about feeling like that towards Him. 
I'm sorry, Lord.

Our pastor reminded us to pray persistently, but yield to the timing of God. It shook my heart awake again. I was reminded that the miracle is in Him. His timing. He doesn't need me to schedule when He shows up, much less me to choose what He shows up for. 

God asks for my heart to yield to his. To his character. To his knowledge. Because that's where the worship is!

So while I'm physically and spiritually limping across the finish line of 2016, I'm thankful to be ending it more in love with my people and my Jesus. I'm praying bold prayers for 2017, humbling submitting to His timing. He is for me, and you.