For the first time in days, I’m sitting in wonderful silence, back in my little living room. The morning sun is finally making it’s appearance through the blinds, and my coffee, now lukewarm, sits contently on the table next to me.
I don’t even mind that it’s lukewarm because heck; I’m bringing in the new year like a rebel…real dairy in my coffee. And I’m completely guiltless.
There’s a jolt of energy and excitement spreading through my body (not attributed to my caffeine intake) because for the first time in months my soul is telling me it is time to write again. Honest to goodness, my intention this morning was to sit peacefully and just think; but I simply couldn’t keep my fingers from typing. And I’ve learned those are the only moments that I should be writing.
Despite my original plan to think through detailed goals and aspirations for the new year, I instead find myself flooded and “stilled” with a sting of gratefulness. And the loudest words I’m hearing in my mind are:
“Come and see what God has done, how awesome his works in man’s behalf!” (Psalm 66:5)
In fact, I “hear” it so loudly that I’m sort of wondering if I’m about to be knocked out and taken on a ghost of Christmas past, present, and future kind of experience.
But even though each year I swear to myself I will NOT write a resolution post, I am feeling unable to look away from all God has done on my behalf, and like a kid on Christmas morning, all my soul wants to do is “come and see.”
I suppose then, “reflection” rather than “resolution,” would be the correct term.
In a year’s time, God walked me through one of the biggest transitions in my life yet: uprooting from a life I liked, moving north to Cambridge, and adjusting to the many nuances working remote full-time and supporting a grad student has entailed. He gave me peace when I brought fear; reassurance when I faced doubt; comfort where I was lonesome; and strength to flourish where I could have withered. He opened my eyes to beauty and blessings that often hide in small places, and in all of that, despite my occasional kicking and screaming, He answered yet again the question my soul keeps asking – “are you trustworthy?” – with a resounding “yes”. And with all of the challenges it has come with, I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world.
In the midst of battling lies of inadequacy, He’s taken a passion and a mission that’s been stirring inside me for years, and before my very eyes, began to bring it to life, giving it shape and color; igniting a fire within me that has burnt out doubt in the nick of time. He’s used mentors and friends to constantly remind me that He’s equipped me – and every single one of us – with immense capability; and He’s given us an incredible brain to fuel and unleash that potential.
As I watch the dust settle after He’s moved these mountains, His words “do not lose heart” linger around me, and my soul is pulled towards even bigger dreams; daring to believe in the impossible.
I have learned that each time my mind begins to fall into small thinking and automatic patterns of “this is how it’s always been done”, to ask the bold question, why? And to dare to flip all that I’ve known upside down on it’s head.
Because I am no longer afraid of what will result from it, or what I will lose in the process; truth and validity will always come out standing, and all the other junk will fall to the wayside.
He has shown me that “I am not enough” and “I just don’t think I can” are lies that stand in the way and rob; stealing time and potential right before our very eyes. So fight back with truth, blood, sweat, and tears – because it is our life and He has called us to greatness.
Life, He has reminded me, holds too many wonders to ever make living as a victim worth it; to ever be weighed down by the opinions and judgements of others; to ever forfeit to fear. And if I choose captivity over freedom, I have no one to blame but myself.
In 2016, I traveled to many new places, experiencing new cultures, tasting new foods, and meeting more people very different than myself. My “world” expanded even more, and life has been fun; for which I am very thankful.
But the moments that have taught me most just how beautiful and brilliant life is, have been moments when I’m walking alone down an old street in Cambridge on a fall day, on my way to run an errand. Or when I sit quietly on my couch early in the morning, reading, praying, and thinking.
It has been in the still, ordinary, uneventful moments, that have been the richest for my soul. And for those I am most grateful.
Now, more so than any stage yet, I have no idea what is coming next in our life in just a few months; yet somehow I feel more vision and peace than ever before.
I don’t know where we’ll go, what it will look like, what I’ll want, or what I’ll need. But I feel more ready, more bold, and more free, than ever before.
2016, your teachings are largely to thank for that. God has done so much, and it is awesome indeed.