There have been so many times the past year I have attempted to write something on here and words have failed me, not because of lack but almost because there is so much I want to say. Just over a year ago, I was praying prayers of brokenness, confusion, regret, grief. On this day last year, I was finally moved into my new house, a dream fulfilled, a prayer answered. It was such a redemptive way to end a crappy year. For me, buying my house in the midst of the unknown, was God’s way of telling me he remembered my dreams and prayers. That I wasn’t forgotten. For those that don’t follow my writings, here are just a few to catch you up to the mess of 2017: In the midst of pain, A hug, A fight worth having, and When God breaks your heart.
Little did I actually know that the house was just a small gift from God to show me his promises and the beginning of the blindsiding glory of his goodness this year. I ended 2017 hopeful with expectation not because I actually had a clue for what God would do but because I knew that I loved God. And if I’m totally honest, for part of 2017 I didn’t love him very well and I was so thankful to be back in a place of loving him, pursuing him, praying, reading my Bible, letting him speak into my everyday. So when 2017 ended, I was in such a place of desire for what God actually had for me, not the counterfeits, not the compromises, not the messes I might make. I wanted only what God had- his best- for me. I began 2018 in a 21 day fast like my church (and many others). This time I wanted to just pursue God. No specific prayers of anything. Just Jesus. Man, did God not only remind me of his massive love for me, he answered a prayer that I have been praying for a decade. I met my soon-to-be husband. I met him 12 days into the 21 day fast. And almost a year to the date of meeting him, I will vow my love and life to him before loved ones and most importantly, God, the One who made it happen. What’s awesome is that meeting him, dating and getting engaged aren’t even the only amazing things that God did this year. That would have been enough to keep me happy for a long time. But He brought me almost in-laws that are amazing; another answer to a prayer I’ve prayed. I have grown in my career and absolutely love my job. I also published my book (Naked and Bare), a dream that I’ve slowly worked on for years. I always found reasons to not publish- excuses I’d make up because honestly, I knew publishing meant my story was officially out there. It meant being vulnerable with the darkest parts of my story. But God helped me finally get through the fear and the doubt and publish, no excuse this time. The amazing stories I have heard since publishing from strangers, friends, and family have blown me away. Honestly, I am humbled.
That seems to be the word I keep coming back to this year. I am constantly humbled. I am constantly stunned by the goodness of God, who loves me far better and far beyond I have ever loved him. I am amazed that God has brought to fruition prayers- promises I believed in for years. Now, let me clear. Not everything we pray for does God give us. He knows far better than we can imagine what is best for us. There have been so many times over the past 10 years that while I prayed for my husband, I found a counterfeit, a stand-in, a fraud. So many broken nights full of tears, longing, and wondering when God would allow me to meet and marry the man I have prayed for for so long. Meeting Tab made every single one of those moments in waiting worth it because he is the one God had for me. He was the promise. The years I put off publishing my book only allowed for God to open up the right timing for it to be read by the right people. The days and nights of my job are often long and difficult and yet I have an unwavering peace and confidence that this field is where God has me. And for so many people that is crazy because I am a minister, a woman, short, and about a hundred other reasons. But I know what God has called me to with an undeniable peace. The pain of last year, as much as I hate so much of what happened, I wouldn’t trade what I learned, what I experienced, how I have grown, because God brought me from that pain. God forgave my sin. God redeemed me from the mess I made. He renewed me.
More than anything friend, I have learned just how much his love is constant. How much his love revives what feels dead. How his forgiveness removes the shame and guilt of our sin and mess. How disobedience to him only brings pain and suffering. How grieving our sin and then allowing God to move in us is one of the most freeing things we can do. Friend, whatever your story, whatever your year has looked like, I encourage you as you close out that few weeks of this year to consider yourself before God. Who is he to you? My year wasn’t great because of me. It was amazing and humbling because God is just so good and he worked in my life despite me not feeling worthy. The difference between this and last year is one was filled with obedience, prayer, consideration of his heart in everything…and one year was filled with selfishness, sin, pride. Choose how you want to live but know one of these is not good. God has far more for you than you can imagine if you dare to trust him with all that you are and everything that you have. I can tell you from experience, that God is the greatest adventure and most worthy journey you will ever go on.