Thursday, October 17, 2013

The 29th Year

So, Tuesday was my birthday! I love birthdays! Don't you? As I reflect on the past year I remember precious memories and events in my mind. Mostly what stands out is just how much God has worked on me and in my life this year.

This past year was a hard season. Not one that I would want to relive again, but I would in a heartbeat because it brought me so much heart knowledge.

I have always thought that I was pretty flexible when it came to change. This year brought more change than I could fathom. My identity was reshaped, relationships changed, priorities rearranged, precious friends moved away, Joe went to Africa (that certainly flipped our world upside down), and we changed ministries. Boiled down and printed neatly in that sentence- it doesn't seem like much. The process of those changes that took place were huge.

When I was saved I knew that Christ was a part of my identity. This year God reshaped all of that. People and places that I found part of my identity from were revealed in new light. In each of those situations I had to reevaluate who I was. Who was I without the things I thought made up- me? Every time I prayed I got one simple answer, "You are mine." You see, being a part of my identity wasn't enough. God needed to be my identity. If everything changed and nothing else remained- He would. I am His child and my mission to make Him known won't change. In a world where things change moment by moment God is always the same. My identity has to be built on Him or nothing makes any sense. I don't have to be afraid to trust my UNKNOWN future to a KNOWN God.

I've always known that God was to be number one in my life. This year some of the closest relationships I've ever had changed. It was more difficult then I could explain. It was through this experience that I realized that other people had been playing at the same level as my husband for the number two spot. Realizing that just rocked me. I knew that he should be number two, but I didn't always let him have that spot.

Friends moved away, need I say more? Okay, I will. The process is hard. We love and miss them. It's still weird not to see them in places we expect to. More than anything we were blessed by their obedience to follow God's leading in each of their lives. God is good all the time, and all the time God is good.

Africa. You hear stories of people being called to faraway places and all the excitement that must ensue. I never imagined for a moment that God would be calling me to one of those places. He did this year. For the most part it still doesn't seem real. As God works and moves mountains we just sit in awe. I have always heard about being in the center of God's will. The peace that comes with that is all encompassing. Knowing, living, and receiving the blessings that come are emotional. As the days tick down and slip into each other we can't be more excited for what He has for us.

Joe and I love teaching people about Jesus. This year we left children's ministry after four years to do youth ministry. It wasn't that it was hard for us to do- it was just different. It was uncharted territory for us. We worried about how the transition would go all the way around. We worried with the days ticking down until Africa we wouldn't be able to do enough or give everything we wanted to. Obviously, we were a little us focused and not enough Him focused. He is sovereign and He knows what He is doing. He has a plan for our kids as well as us. We knew that if God was calling us to youth for this season He would bless it and He has. We're loving learning about our kids and sharing Jesus with them.

As I sit here and type this one word comes to mind, grateful. This year brought a lot of heartache, but the heartache was good. God reminded me who I am, who He is, where Joe should be, and is really preparing our family for what is ahead. I love how He has fortified our family unit. It's neat to see His hand moving in our lives. I'm excited for my twenty-ninth year. I hope that God changes me as much this year as He did last year. I want to be more like Him. I want there to be less of me and more of Him. Most importantly God is with me every step of the way.

For I , the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, 'Fear not, I will help you.' 
 Isaiah 41:13

From a grateful heart,