As someone who wrote here every day in October about moving to England yet still lives in South Carolina, it should come as no surprise to you that trust was the word I discerned God chose for me in January of 2014.
Last year, instead of making resolutions I never keep (because I’m a true ENFP) I joined thousands of bloggers, praying for a prophetic word as a theme for the year. Have you ever done that?
Trust found me like a finger tapping on my shoulder while reading a good book, continually interrupting my thoughts.
This is what I wrote here last January: Behind the broad chested posture of trust is the phrase I tend to repeat to myself in such a small whisper it’s barely noticeable, unless I’m quiet. Are you ready for it? Here it is: But what if– then I add the scenario. And trust doesn’t have buts in the sentence because trust doesn’t control outcomes; it lays them at the feet of Jesus, walks away, and doesn’t look back.
Honestly? I thought I was brave when I chose trust as my word for 2014. Now I realize I was naïve and shortsighted.
I overlooked the mystery inherent in the person of Jesus when I welcomed trust. Months of walking through the wilderness in our transition to London broke the what-ifs in my faith like a wild horse resisting a saddle.
Oh, I can write about the mystery of God and make it sound concrete, predictable and fun but living with it, that’s just uncomfortable. Painful when you insist on figuring out unknowns and controlling outcomes. Frightening when you live in the grip of scarcity.
God cannot be figured out. I knew this in my head but my responses to a lengthy, unforeseen waiting period to England said my heart wasn’t convinced.
The gift in naming a year as it begins is the redemption you see when you look back.
I wrote open-handed when describing an intended posture with trust for 2014 in that same blog post. Then H called me stubborn a few months ago. And I repented for how often I assume a tight-fisted posture without noticing.
Before Christmas, H was asked by a church we love in Phoenix to give the sermon on Sunday morning with less than twenty-four hours’ notice. It turns out he had a backlog of sermon illustrations to use longing for the right moment. The theme? Waiting.
H opened vistas of thought about a recurring theme in the Bible. Righteous, God fearing women who are childless — Sarah, Hannah, and Elizabeth– live much of life waiting, even after God promises birth.
Their stories powerfully illustrate how waiting with Godly desire is linked with barrenness. Last year, discerning a call to England resulted in delay, disappointment and ultimately dependence.
We can tell you with the utmost confidence that a barren wilderness in the middle of your dreams often leads to the fulfillment of promise with these outcomes.
Trust – In seasons of waiting, one of the primary questions God asks of us is this. What or who do you trust? He already knows but he wants you to experience revelation.
Deeper Intimacy with Jesus– In waiting, God gives us a choice. Choose to trust in His unwavering friendship to guide you or figure it all out by yourself.
“A wise lover values not so much the gift of the lover as the love of the giver.” Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ
Joy – Finding joy in the Christ and not in your circumstances. While we know joy is sure in fulfillment, true joy is realized when we know Jesus loves us completely, even in lengthy periods of silence.
Honestly? Joy is the hardest one to grasp. But He’s highlighting that word Joy and naming my 2015 with it. Wherever my gaze seems to look, joy is waving back. I’ve learned not to make assumptions.
I’m going to tell you later this week how my friend Margaret Feinberg is teaching me the truth about Joy from her own experience.
Have you chosen a word for 2015 yet? Tell me how it found you, this year or last. I’m excited to walk this calling out with you and share our unfolding plans as they happen.