Its hard to believe that 2011 has come and gone. When I think of the month "January" I'm still thinking, "Oh, that was just a few weeks....... ..... ago.... wait......"
What a long - fruitful year with Jesus. I'm so SO glad I'm not the same person I was this time last year. Actually, thinking about this time last year, I smile. Everything has a time and a season. I don't regret where I was then... but I wouldn't change to ever go back to being that person again either. I've grown too much to try to squeeze myself into the confinements of who I was then, now.
A lot is on my mind for this year.
Maybe I should make those things into lessons-I've-learned bullet points.
- Relationships - with anyone - almost never turn out the way you expect them to.
- People are never what you assume - one way or the other.
- You can't be everyone's dream girl or dream guy. Either you are, just as you are, or... you're simply not.
- You can't be everyone's favorite person either. ... Nope.
- Crying has its advantages.
- The disadvantages of crying are far... far outweighed by the advantages. ... so...
- ...Its necessary - ESSENTIAL even, to have a good cry every so often.
- Its good to have good friends at times where you need a good cry.
- Actually, its good to just have good friends.
- .... Best friends change. Both in seasons of your life... and also individually speaking.
- Best friends don't work the way they did when you were a kid... you need multiple friends for multiple purposes - all equally as important.
- People cannot fill your needs ... especially only one person.
- We're not entitled to friends or spouses. Those are gifts from God. The Lord gives, does NOT give and He takes away.
- The good thing is, God loves to give good gifts to His children, especially when they ask Him.
- Sometimes, its best just to keep things between you and God.
- Including your feelings, opinions and words.
- You can never go wrong when you praise the Lord with song.
- Mornings are such a lovely time to have set aside for the Lord.
- Sunrises and Sunsets start off the day and end the day each proclaiming the beauty of the Glory of God. ... How many days do we miss it and forget to join in with all creation to exalt Him?
- Giving thanks is essential to the Christian life. Its a health issue if its not apart of the daily stuff.
- God is so good. And deserving. And worthy. And Holy. And Lovely.
- God isn't too concerned with what you can DO for Him.
- Delight in the Lord.
- Be prepared to wait.
- Do NOT speculate. Its not good for the heart.
- It may be better not to share your dreams with people. ... unless they ask.
- People actually don't care as much as you think they do.
- People care more than you think they do.
- People don't know it, but they WANT to care more.
- Good friends DO care, even when it hurts to.
- God cares... very, very much.
- Going to the House of Prayer on Tuesdays have been a blessing to me.
- Africa is next year!!!
So... I'm going to stop there because from there on, my thoughts pertained to food. Haha.
I guess the reason why its so hard to believe that a year has passed is because its been a blur, really. Most of my time this year has been spent in a season of summer in my soul, and winter in my life.
Winter in so dying to things of the flesh, understanding where my sin patterns and areas of weakness are and have to accept and admit that I am really incapable of fixing it all on my own.
In a sentence? "I can do NO thing good apart from God."
Its been a hell of a ride. And by that I mean, "Welcome to a tour of your terrible, yucky, stinking heart. Enjoy the ride!"
But I chose to go this route. I asked God for it on purpose because I'm tired of who I've been.
"Who I am hates who I've been, who I am hates who I've been."
Its been awful... and yet absolutely lovely. I've never known so much grace or tender mercy from the Lord. I really don't think I knew what grace or mercy really meant until this year, and I'm so glad to say I've only just begun.
God has so blessed me by His gentle care towards my heart and I'm eternally grateful. Here's a few things that I believe have been accomplished or at least have begun to be, in my life.
- I no longer have a clue what God is going to do in me or with me - at all.
- God is the essential. All other vision either bows to this or is fading away.
- I'm prepared to wait. I am being prepared to wait for a long haul.
- God - is the desire of my heart. None of the other things matter unless He's involved.
- I am no longer speculating. ... About anything.
- I'm not afraid to die anymore.
- I'm not afraid to be tortured anymore either.
- In fact.... There's a crazy joy at the idea of these things if it means I don't renounce my Jesus.
- Nothing can shake me from the conviction of Christ in me. Nothing. Not any more.
- I'm starting to stop second-guessing myself.
- I don't take crap from people anymore, and I won't bow out when I need to stand up.
These are all actually HUGE accomplishments for me, seriously. I'm not afraid to say them to the public either because I believe someone has to be real enough to be honest about the hard things in life.
God has really been opening my eyes to a lot of things - and what I mean by that is - actually, everything. When I lay down my bias, God gives me His heart. Its a pretty amazing exchange, really.
So for this upcoming year, I'm feeling like I'm phasing into a new season of winter and summer.
This past year, though it be winter in my life, summer was in my heart and the Lord gave me rest and peace and love.
But I believe winter has begun in my heart now... killing and keeping dead everything I've held close until now. Its not about me anymore ... not at all. My life isn't about me. Winter is barren ... and so shall it be in my heart full of dreams and things. But I truly believe that the winter in my heart will drive me outside of myself - into the promise land of Jesus. Its time to explore the heart of God, leave everything else I've loved behind, and begin again. I actually have no clue what will happen to my heart this next year, but I know that God has been so faithful and good through all the generations.
Coldplay sings, " don't wanna see another generation drop, I'd rather be a comma than a full stop."
Maybe I've been a comma these past 12 months or so. But I choose to be fully alive this next year - whether good or bad, I don't care. I just know this next season has nothing to do with ... me. hah. Do I really get to call it my life, either? I have no life apart from God. Only death. Yet, crazily enough, death is an everyday occurence when we choose to live in God.
I'd say this was a rant ... but I feel like thats not honoring the process God has created for me to follow in so choosing to write things out for others to see.
So I will merely say that I feel my line of thought is done for now.
Happy new year, friends and family of mine - may the Lord remind you through out 2012 that advent is still the season.
Let us then pray, "Maranatha!" Come Lord, quickly! And prepare our hearts." Amen.