On this blog I always try to write the real stuff, but with hope. Unfortunately, this was a sentiment that I did not carry over into my life for the year of 2016. As you all know by now, 2015 was a bruiser for our family. So 2016 was welcomed with open arms. Although for the country as a whole 2016 was a big ole bummer, for our family it was really amazing. But there was something missing all year.
All year long there was this stuck in a rut feeling, this spiritual numbness. There were lots of practical factors that I attributed this stiff spiritual feeling to, but today I think God opened my eyes to much more than busy schedules, new school routines, and pick up lines.
All year long I would go in and out of a sense of self preservation and dread that maybe this goodness would dry up and then the other shoe would drop. Maybe if I dwelled in the blessings too much, then something truly awful would rain down out of my dark cloud. It was honestly borderline superstitious and just dumb. But it was palpable for me at times.
Today I picked up my bible, and decided to get back to my reading-through-the-bible-but-not-in-a-year and since the marker that I left before Advent and holiday craziness was still at Exodus 5, that’s where I began. And Exodus 5, believe it or not was exactly what my heart needed all year long.
Exodus 5 jolted me, it woke me up, it was my mirror.
Here’s the thing, if you read Exodus 5 and you just stopped at the end of the chapter, it sure does seem like God’s “help” is just making everything worse. Even Moses points his finger at God. And this is the exact web that I see myself getting caught in after a hard season. I forget to look a the big picture: the exodus OUT of the chains, and I just stop after chapter 5 of my own story. I get scared to follow him, especially when he has big plans because I only remember chapter 5 when everything kept getting worse and more confusing.
But God rescued them, God did impossible things to move them and save them. And he did the same in our family. He wasn’t limited by “everytime I try it just gets worse.”
God did these amazing things that worked together to make an amazing story. In light of the ending all those hard things change into the “wait for it...wait for it...just wait” which make the story so rich and full and complex and impossible.
God did it for the Israelites, but you can’t stop reading at chapter 5, or even chapter 11 and then again half way through chapter 14. The whole story, the big picture that’s where the hope is, that’s where you see all the healing and restoration and redemption.
And in 2016 I stopped reading at our chapter 5. No wonder I was hesitant to surrender my year to the Lord. At chapter 5 it’s pretty rough.
My 2017 resolution is this:
I’ll remember the big picture.
I’ll remember ALL of what he did and surrender to all He might ask me to do going forward.
I’ll remember that He is trustworthy. Yea at times it went from bad to worse, but later it went from unbearable to impossibly and abundantly more than we ever could have imagined.
I won’t forget who He really is.
I won’t confuse my limitations for His infinite power.
I’ll follow Him wherever He leads, through the land of plenty or the wilderness--but never walking in darkness.
Oh yeah, this blog was supposed to get around to that whole word of the year thing. I kind of roll my eyes at this idea because I mean who can really know what this year holds for them and how much difference can a word really make? But--in all my goals and growth areas: spiritually, physically, maternally, and with writing I am pursuing more discipline because with discipline and structure I always flourish, that's my personality. In 2016, I was not so much flourishing chasing our schedule and playing catch up and “should’ve would’ve could’ve” so there it is. I have a word and that word is discipline (but the subtitle to my word is grace. And yes my word can have a subtitle cause I'm the boss of the my own word and no one can stop me). Discipline fueled by grace...there’s something there.
What are your resolutions? What is your word for the year?