It’s a new year this week. Full of the sparkle and shine of possibility. It’s an empty book just waiting to be filled and …I love that.
Many years I’ve pondered slow and deep and filled pages and pages of my journal with reflections and intentions and plans.
This year…I’m not. At least not yet. I am a firm believer that the whole of January is the beginning of the new year and I have that entire month to reflect and plan. So I still have time to change my mind.
But this year, there’s just one thing that keeps resurfacing for me as I look ahead. And behind. A carryover, perhaps, of all I’ve pondered and prayed these last few months.
I want to ask God for wisdom. More. More wisdom. More often. I want to ask Him to guide my decisions. Big and small. I want to ask what He desires me to do. How I should be spend the precious hours He’s given me? Where should I invest energy and attention?
I don’t expect to get a message from heaven each time. Or a miraculous word of guidance.
But I do except to be guided subtly and gently. I expect to be moved, because I move. Not God. I expect my heart and mind to move into alignment with God. I don’t expect words from heaven, but I expect Him to change me as I seek His heart. And as He brings me closer to His heart, I expect my decisions, large and small, to shift.
And I suspect, that on occasion, a clear answer might come.
I’ve spent the tail end of this year completely overwhelmed by everything there is to do. And I can’t at all see how I will accomplish it’s scope and breadth. I can’t figure out how to figure out what to prioritize and what to let go of.
And yet, this stubborn heart is learning slowly. The only way to truly grow is to ask for help. And who better to ask than the God who created the universe, and me?
So that’s it. That’s my one goal. …for now. To ask God for wisdom, for guidance, for help more often. For the small things, not just the big. And to ask that He bring my heart closer to His in the process.
A twelve days ago we were supposed to move into an adorable little two bedroom, two bath condo we were buying. And fifteen days ago, I was standing in line at Marshall’s when Travis called to tell me that the sale had fallen through.
I had planned to drive home and pack more boxes, then pick James up from his first day of preschool all smiles and energy.
Instead, I cried my way home and off and on through the rest of that day, and canceled the order for our new mattress that we scheduled to be delivered the day after closing.
I planned on anxiously waiting for the school day to be over so I could run and hold my preschooler and then sit enraptured hearing all about his day.
Instead, I washed my face, put on mascara and as much a smile as I could manage, and braved my way through his first preschool pick up, trying to be fully present and joyful in this moment with him, while at the same battling back the overwhelm now plaguing me.
I had plans, and they were suddenly, unexpectedly, gone. I had built dreams for our family in that place, all in my head, and those too, were now gone. I had expectations for what the next days would be like, and those were gone. I had thought I’d known where God was taking us, and that also, was now gone.
I felt unmoored and untethered. Adrift.
In the days that have followed, I’ve been all over the place. I’ve clung to God in some moments and run from Him others. I’ve been angry sometimes and peaceful others. I’ve run a million scenarios in my head and made plans a dozen different ways, grasping for what is right. Searching in darkness for a spark of Light to guide us.
And into the chaos of my heart and mind, a friend spoke these words. “We were shouting for joy just a few weeks ago…focus on those miracles. Those miracles didn’t come for no reason, and you guys didn’t get excited for no reason…continue to believe that the Lord is going to move.” Her words stopped me.
“We were shouting for joy just a few weeks ago…” “Those miracles didn’t come for no reason…”
I thought I had figured out how God was writing this story. I thought the miraculous way He was letting things fall into place, was all leading up to one certain ending. And when it all fell apart, I began to think maybe I had just heard wrong. Maybe we weren’t following God after all. Maybe God had spoken and I’d just missed it. Or maybe I’d been too stubborn to hear. Or maybe I just had no idea what was going on. Maybe. Maybe. Maybe.
And then God used the words of this friend to draw near and whisper in my ear…
“This closing falling through does not negate the things I did to get you this far.”
I can praise God for the way He worked and also mourn the ending that I didn’t get.I can trust the God I love to be near even when I don’t understand how He is working.I can worship the God who guides us, even when it feels like we’ve been led to a dead end.
I don’t have an ending to this story yet. Well…not quite.
I can say that we haven’t curled up in a ball and given up, as much as we’ve been tempted to.
God has also provided for us to extend the lease with our current rental until the end of September with no extra fees, so we won’t be homeless at the end of next week.
And today we signed a contract with a new seller, for us to buy a different condo in the same community, although based on the events of the past few weeks, this too, feels far from an ending.
I can say that I’ve had days of intense anxiety, days of overwhelming desire to give up, and days of overwhelming peace from God, in the midst of it all.
I can say that there is a tiny seed of excitement over this new place beginning to form.
We are working hard and the emotional roller coaster, is far from over.
But the fact remains true, God did some wonderful things that I will continue to praise Him for, and the ending we didn’t get, the ending we still might not get, doesn’t negate that.
Prompt: The Words You Always Wanted to Say to Him/Her But Never Did
I never wanted you To be my friend. I wanted you
to be his. Because I care more about him Than I care about
Maybe I’m wrong, But I think the same temptations hold us close I see things in you Pressing, begging, rearing to come out in me And I’m running hard I pray maybe you will start running soon too Or that maybe, I am just wrong about you
It’s okay to not be perfect It’s okay to not have it all figured out I like you better that way, anyways Let’s be broken together I’ll hold your pieces You hold mine If I get cut, it’s okay. Because we’ll be together.
I cared what you thought So when you chose them I suddenly felt caught In my childish naivety Why would I have ever thought You’d choose me? That day life taught Me a lesson I’d spend the rest of it unlearning
You can’t see it, girl But you’re so very loved. And there’s not one single person You will meet in this whole, beautiful life Who will be enough to love you As much as you already are.
If you feel inspired, try out this prompt too. You don’t have to consider yourself a writer to write. And I’d love to read what you come up with. Or keep it private.
This was a sad and beautiful and helpful exercise for me to do and maybe it will be the same for you.