For some reason cold, winter weather whispers, “purge, clean, get-rid-of” to me. How about you?
Last night, I found a journal that I started in 2011. I wish I could say I journal all the time. Um, no. I know that it would be an amazing discipline to continue longer than 10 months, but for some reason I can’t go the distance with journaling. To quote Frank Sinatra, “Regrets, I’ve had a few.” Sigh. Anyway.
I started this particular journal (don’t EVEN ask me how many journals I’ve started) on my trip to Israel. As I was reliving this once in a lifetime trip reading through the pages of my journal I realized I had found a gem. Not only because my trip to the Holy Land is in there but the year after my trip is captured there too. I’ve walked with the Lord 15 years and 2011 is a spiritual marker for me.
It’s the year I began to follow the Lord wholeheartedly. Yes, I loved Jesus before 2011, but something changed. I knew I was empty. I knew the abundant life had to be more than just women’s bible study and singing worship. Please don’t hear what I’m not saying… yes, worship is a great way to draw near to God and certainly give God His due. Because HE IS — the great I AM. And YES, bible study is a great on-ramp to building a relationship with God. If you are doing those things, don’t stop doing them. I haven’t.
But I found that the abundant life that scripture talks about was missing from my own. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come so that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.” John 10:10 (NET)
In 2011, I found the KEY.
Jeremiah 29:13 If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.
That’s what was missing….a wholehearted approach to looking for God. Brave Girl, what I discovered is this…when we are “all in” surrender comes easy. Eyes are focused on what we are gaining (Jesus) not losing.
What did I lose? My personal rights of complacency, laziness in my part of our relationship, neutrality on loving well (based on feelings: if I felt like I did it, if I didn’t I didn’t.) The Lord set me on a path of discovery that year that changed my life. Because He knew my life as I had known it would be changing. And as a good Father, He needed to get his girl ready. All of this is Him.
Brave Girl, God is working in your life. Have you forgotten? Be reminded. Be assured. He is steadfast and true. Determine today to no longer live by what you see, that your current circumstance is NOT the end of the story. If you are a child of God, walk by faith — decide right now, today…that He is working your situation out for good (Romans 8:28. His solution is not always our solution, but it will be a solution that is good.
What to do in the meantime? Jeremiah 29:13 If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. He’s already found us. The scripture puts the emphasis on us looking for Him. Are you looking for Him wholeheartedly? As a young child looks for her parents when she wakes up in the morning?
I believe in the midst of “wholeheartedly seeking” that true healing comes into our lives. We allow God to come close enough to pull the band-aids off and begin the healing process. The deep wounds (some I didn’t even know were there) that keep us in bondage. Bondage can be anything we are tied to… not just addictions. Bondage to hurts, relationships, victim mentality, etc. Are you brave enough to let Him “have a peek at it?” When everything in you is saying, “run away from the Healer’s touch…fill your life with busy activity for God instead. That’s good enough right?” Brave Girl, you are brave enough to stay. Don’t run, fill, and hope it all works out in the end. God has a better plan for you. A call to wholeness. Only Jesus can make you whole. You won’t find wholeness in another person or activity.
I have found that a call to wholeness doesn’t mean there won’t be bumps and disappointments along the way. But wholeness allows us to be very real with God and placing our desires firmly in His loving hands. Knowing whatever the outcome, we will not act like a victim, because my God is good, my God is for me.
I read this journal entry to my husband last night. And we praised God.
July 7, 2011
Fully knowing I’m in the center of God’s will for my life. I accept it. I know His plan is good for me. I know He doesn’t withhold blessing just to withhold blessing. His “No” today means a greater “Yes” in my future. I understand it. Yet, tonight, I am so lonely for a husband. Coming home to my empty bed brought tears to my eyes. It seems the healthier I get the more alone I feel. How long Poppa? How long do I have to wait? I know you are growing my faith, and I won’t stop believing you have someone out there for me. I’m trusting you but getting weary in the wait.
I know your plan for me is You, Poppa. More of You. I love you.
Two years after this journal entry I married one of the greatest men I know. Truly.
My change in marital status doesn’t make this a win. Realizing His plan all along was for me to be completely satisfied in Christ, that’s the win.