Saturday, November 18, 2017

my word for 2017

Did you pick a word for 2017?

I picked this tradition up a few years ago when I first saw a Facebook post where someone prayerfully picked a word to represent their own new year approaching. It's not a mystical thing I do to attempt to predict the future, but it's taking the time to listen to the Spirit and say, "God... what would you have for me this year?" and then He answers. Sure, every day we have the opportunity to start fresh, make a different choice, do a new thing... but I love the annual nature of setting goals in a specific season and recognizing the newness that is before us. I was never that way until I watched my dreamer husband gain an excitement for goal setting and vision casting each New Year season.

Maybe it's a little early for me to even be thinking about this topic, since we're not even at Thanksgiving quite yet, but here we are with the end of 2017 only a month and a half away. The word I picked for 2017 is 'RENEW'. I picked it straight out from the longing in my heart for a new season, and the verse Psalm 51:10 that says, "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me." In my heart, all along, the Spirit gently reminded me that the renewing had to start in me before I could see it around me.

And what a year of renewal it has been.

We moved to a new part of the city, a different Parish. So yeah, we literally had to renew drivers licences, insurance, everything, ha. Kolby is no longer a pastor, but is now a student in seminary! I went from being a stay at home mom to now, a dean of students. Wednesday is working two jobs and has a car she bought all on her own. Natalie chose online school this year for the first time (and she's killing it y'all). The littlest 3 moved schools and ha, oh the irony... their new school is called ReNEW (which is another crazy God story because late enrollment in Orleans Parish is no joke you guys, BUT GOD.)

We're currently in a season of waiting.
There's one piece of the puzzle that hasn't fit like we had hoped it would. In fact it seemed to crumble in our hands and ruin the cool picture we were putting together. I've had bad days where I've scrambled to fix it, glue it back together (what a disaster that would be), or have wanted to throw the whole damn puzzle out. That gentle Spirit reminds me the renewing starts within first and I have to stop staring at that hole, at that broken piece, and notice the gorgeous scene we've already put together. On the good days in this season of waiting I have found more contentment and faith than I've ever had. God has provided every step of the way what we've needed. It's forced me to look a lot more at the moment rather than what's up ahead. Because right here in the moment God has sustained us and the wait is part of the renewing.

Dare I have faith that by the end of 2017 God will renew this final, broken piece as well?

But first, create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Pain management

I'm very familiar with unresolved emotional pain.

The kind of pain that lingers on, when there isn't a happy ending, a sad ending, or a bad ending. There really is no ending. It continues to be there, and it will probably never go away. There's pain you can remove yourself from, and then there's some that you just can't.

Pain management became an area of expertise if I wanted to thrive as a healthy adult, a mother, a wife, a coworker, a friend. I have had to figure out how to keep moving despite the pain.

So overused, but maybe the phrase fits here; perhaps it's the thorn in my side? The brokenness of knowing what could have been but will never be. Voids that can't be filled, and yet I trust in the One who brings wholeness. Obedience that leads to hurt. And it's so incredibly painful at points, it's as if I'm leaning on a rail in a hospital in excruciating pain.

Some hurts will only be completely healed when we leave this world.

Resolution, restoration, and healing in the now are a breath of life that we take for granted.
Aren't they?

What a gift to be able to bring a taste of heaven on earth when we can come together with our differences, our hurts, our pain, and...
the wound heals a little,
maybe completely.

We have that ability within us, and yet don't always use it. Shouldn't we use it, if we can?

I used to be absolutely scared of confrontation, but since I've tasted and seen, I'm really starting to love it because of the healing it can bring.

To meet another person where they're at, empathize, bring my case to the table and be heard as well. To sit in it. See it for what it is. Maybe I'll say sorry. Maybe he'll fix the broken places. Maybe we'll hug. And then we move forward knowing we've been seen and heard.

It doesn't always go that way, but how beautiful is it when it does!

I let go of that rail on the wall at the hospital. The thorn is still there, but knowing I've got a hand to squeeze when it stings again is all I needed to be discharged and walk out of there.

Maybe that's why it's there. So I'll grab the hand when it hurts, and let you hold mine when yours does too.