So often I come to the end of another year and I have much to say. So many promises I made to myself that I couldn’t keep. So many goals for starting anew. I’m not a resolution setter, don’t misunderstand me. But I’m a clean slate kinda girl. Nothing pleases me more than a fresh journal of new paper ready to be penned.
I look at it like a fresh 24 – God’s promise in Lamentations chapter 3 that His compassions are freely upon us every morning.
Yet this time it’s like a fresh 365. A new beginning of another year and a chance to let Him pen new and exciting pages for me as I draw closer to Who He is…while discovering just who I am.
Before I look ahead, it’s important to look back. This year held something more. That old cliche “the world is my oyster” seems to come to mind. But instead of a pearl lying inside that shell I found something quite humbling.
I found disappointment…followed by understanding.
I found new friendships, old friendships…stronger friendships.
I found peace from God unlike any I’d known before.
I found forgiveness.
I found my heart.
I found myself.
I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t painful. I’ve spent a lot of time alone just wading through these new realities…allowing God to build my confidence, expose my hiding places, unveil suppressed memories. There’s beauty in what is broken. Even when He breaks down the very person He made me to be and creates something new. It’s not a gentle process. The growing pains hurt long past the time when I am first stretched.
Yet, if this year has taught me one thing it is this: Don’t fight it!
He is the Ultimate Teacher. Even when I didn’t want to listen or learn or participate in the discussions, He was patient to continue the lesson.
He showed me how to pray for those who hurt me or invoked my jealous heart…
(despite my avoidance for years)
He gave me the desire to care for those outside my realm of understanding…
(in soil that’s still foreign to me)
He pushed me to step out in faith in places I once refused…
(through fears that were nothing short of crippling)
He asked me to trust Him with control when I just wanted to do it myself.
He insisted that I release my hold on who or what could not embrace me for me.
There is still much to consider…much to learn…much to love about myself.
And as I stare out the window and tell 2014 goodbye, I watch as the last leaf blows from the tree, carried by the wind to a destination I’ll never see. But I trust. As there is a purpose even for that leaf, I have a purpose too.
So here I am. Walking into 2015. …listening intently so that I don’t miss a thing.
This space has been fairly quiet the last two months as I’ve prepared for and enjoyed the holidays, invested in loved ones and listened to new directions. I am looking forward to sharing what I hear as 2015 unfolds for me and my family. I know God has been preparing us over the last year, but we still don’t know what that is. I will take the time to ask you for prayer as we diligently seek this new direction. Sometimes…it’s just hard to be patient in the waiting.
I trust. I am willing. I am excited for all things new.
~~See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. (Isaiah 43:19)
**Photo credit, Kyrda Hedrick
I’m joining the following writers for these link-ups today:
Jennifer Dukes Lee for #TellHisStory
Holley Gerth and Coffee For Your Heart
Kristin Hill Taylor for Three Word Wednesday
Holly S. Barrett for Testimony Tuesday
I love your writing, it is always an encouragement and so very deep. I am excited to walk into the new year with all of you lovely women who I have come to know and love through God and I am excited to see where 2015 takes us. Keep on writing 🙂
Thank you so much for your kind words, Marisa. It’s always such encouragement to hear that. My prayers go with you as you continue to share your words, as well.
Sounds like you were describing much of my 2014. It was a good but hard year for me too. I love the verse from Isaiah about God doing a new thing with the wasteland. In Him nothing is wasted. Happy 2015! And I’m glad you linked up at #ThreeWordWednesday.
Thank you for stopping by, Kristin! Love linking up with you for #ThreeWordWednesday!
So beautiful, Jennifer! I relate in many ways. I especially the section centered above regarding the lessons learned from our ultimate teacher. I look forward to more great encouragement & beautiful words from you, friend.
Thank you so much for that encouragement, Jolene. I look so forward to hearing more beautiful words from you as well.
Girl, this was the year for lessons and “shaking” to see what remains. Beautiful post! ~visiting from Testimony Tuesday
Thank you for visiting, Carmen!
Lovely words of faith and joy in learning. May the Lord reveal His plan as He directs your steps and as you draw close to Him in the secret place. Your love for Him is displayed clearly in your trust. 🙂
Thank you so much, Kathy!
Beautiful post! I am a clean slate kinda girl, too. It’s exciting to wipe it clean and start fresh. Oh, and a new journal. Love that too. Thank you for your transparency in sharing 2014 with us. God bless you as you embark on this 2015 journey with Him!
Thank you for your words, Julie! May God bless you, as well. 🙂