Chapter 28 ends, but the year of free continues.
If I could sit down with you right now, I would offer you a hug, and some coffee and or tea. Because I know that everyone doesn’t always do coffee ::insert potential side eye:: - I don’t get how you do it non coffee drinkers- Maybe you should teach me?
Any who, I would let you know about my new vacuum cleaner that I bought for dirt cheap at the local Walmart, because I’ve somehow managed to kill the other three fancy ones in the last two years. And how somehow, that vacuum cleaner dying has helped me care less about my dirty floors. (Maybe a part of intentional sanctification? Kidding, or not really.)
I’d hesitate to ask if you saw the stained chocolate rug, and would probably skip over it because I’m trying to do better with those types of things. You know, the “please excuse the stain that my 2-year-old made while I was answering work emails, in the bathroom, or making dinner” type of excuse. Learning grace for my self, friends.
I’d also ask you how you were and would wait to listen to all of the things your heart had to say, and this time- I would really listen, because this year I learned to just be with the people that God brings because it’s all a gift. And listening is sometimes the greatest gift that we can give.
And then, I would tell you about my day, and how I was wrapping up my year end review thing that I do- where I stop and take account of all that Gods done and all that has happened, good or bad. How this last day of 28 felt so “mundanish” and magical all At once. (Because the mundane is the best ground, the most fertile and willing: where we live, and wrestle, struggle, and also meet Jesus. The mundane was also Jesus’ life, too.)
I’d share the hard things but then would follow them by sharing with you the very beautiful things- the new wine that was pressed and brought out because of it. How I walked through fires, stood in the middle of fires, doubted His goodness, His molding, His process, and in the midst of it all, accepted His goodness, too. Wait though, I was going to type "found His goodness,” but that’s theologically incorrect.
We don’t “find Jesus” He finds us.
So, I didn’t find Him or His goodness - I just finally grabbed hold of it. He actually found me.
I would tell you about the soul that chose freedom instead of striving and finally learned that abiding was an act of surrender. Freedom from condemnation and shame, into a sweet rhythm of grace. I went from counting the losses to looking at the only win that mattered.
Side note: I think that that’s a part of it: When you realize that the ebbs and flows keep you both humble, expectant, and willing. Free, yet at His feet, while life brings its waves.
I’d fill you in on how my insecurities of being 28 came to a head this year and how a good father kept tending to them, patiently, one by one as I let Him in. Including the lie that I’ve heard whispered in my mind since I can remember “too much, too passionate, too intense, etc.” He chipped away at that all year. And a few other lies, too. Not to say that I’m completely bullet proof of hurt feelings, but I stand a little more settled when the blows come my way.
I’d tell you about how God began to show me the gift of protection in my life, and how my today is what it is, because He knew better than I did – and to take it as such.
How me loving the gospel and the zeal in me wasn't placed there by me, but by Him. So how on earth could I deny it?
I would maybe go on a slight rant about women and the voice God has given us, and also how the gospel has nothing to do with being a republican or democrat- but has everything to do with Jesus.
I digress- maybe if you were really in my living room.
I’d fill you in on how I found out this year that I know nothing good but the love of Jesus, and how God, used this year to pour new oil over a dimming flame. How I saw the ever-present help verse come to life in my heart. How I fell back in love with His word and brought me back to 18-year-old hungry and eager and ready to seek Him, Alex. So when I at some point get back to this place in life, I can remember this season of my life and remember His faithfulness.
I’d continue to tell you how much I learned about people and relationships this year, how we are all one broken family doing the best we can with what we’ve got- and that the only way the local church, or any of this will be for Gods glory is if we lead with an un-ending sea of understanding and forgiveness. Continuously turning the other cheek.
I would tell you how this was year two of intentional spiritual disciplines, and how now I really understood what all the fuss was about. (Future post, maybe?)
How even in the less than days when I felt nothing, I somehow felt everything because I wasn’t waiting on a supernatural sign from Him, but stood on what the word already said was true. That I learned that my request for Him to send me a burning bush sign (Moses) had already happened when I felt the pressing of the Holy Spirit.
I’d cry, not because I’m emotional - but because I’m so very thankful for this year, again- wonderful, hard, trying and all. Every part of our life contains a season, and in every season Gods hand is moving - and that is Good news. He isn’t ever not working on our behalf to create us into the likeness of Jesus.
By now I’d be weeping because I would tell you that we have to learn to, in Gods strength and peace, love the rain because we can’t expect growth without it. Actually, it’s where we draw the most near to Him. (For another post, too.)
Now, (gulp) I’m grateful for seasons of rain. I take the time to see His hand moving and refocus my affections on the true king + hero of the story.
I’d tell you how now, living as an offering; a living sacrifice finally makes a lot more sense.
(Fishers of Men, Great Commission + Great Commandment.)
Less of us Jesus, more and all of you.
And how today, where I now stand- is more in awe of a God who said come in daughter, and kept coming after His lost sheep. And continues to do so, every moment of our lives. Expectant, fighting at the foot of the cross, with His faithfulness in Hand for whatever may come ahead. Choosing to have faith over fear, while I choose to serve with my heart humbled towards a king that deserves it all. Not wishing away this year, or moments, or cursing them for what were, or what they weren’t.
But choosing gratitude and contentment because He is good, HE IS GOOD.
Happy last day 28 to me. Where I get to choose to live like His story in my life isn’t over - because it isn’t . And it isn’t over for you either, friend. 28 ends, but 29 begins.
Here’s to living even more fully given and forgiven - for our Good and His Glory. For the moments that leave the world changed, for this generation, and for the next generation to come.
In His Name + For His Glory
P.S I’d love to hear from you in the comments, your thoughts, feelings, etc. Thank you for reading along.