Since 2011, with each new year, I have listened for God to give me a word to focus my attention. In years past they have been: restoration, healing, confidence, endurance, overcome, believe. This year, my word is grace.
Because of a divine set up, I became the "owner" of some powerful resources. To name just a few: Powersheets by Lara Casey, The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp, and a membership to sheworksHisway.
Because of my membership to sheworksHisway, I have been challenged in my leadership role as a wife, mother, and child of God. This resource filled with classes, devotions, and extras has been used by God to cultivate some pretty unlikely fruit ~ namely consistency, a desire to grow as a person, and an understanding of stewardship in time/resources/and blessings.
The Broken Way has given me a perspective of what life is supposed to look like when you actively pursue Jesus. This book is not for the faint of heart and should not be read unless you are ready to be pushed to your limits of understanding. I've said this many times before and I'll say it many times in the future: you can not argue the premises that Ann Voskamp puts out there for you to consider and then you can not ignore the information you now have. You have to do something with it because as hard as it is to swallow, you know that God wouldn't have brought it up if it didn't need adjusting.
The Powersheets helped me plan goals for 2017. Resolutions are fantastic but let's be real. If you'd stuck to all the ones you've made in the past, you probably wouldn't be making any in the present. Her process not only helped me name and claim them, but also work out the action steps to achieving them. And while your goals can be anything, she helps you focus on your motives behind them, how they will benefit you and others. One of mine was to start memorizing Scripture again the way I used to.
As I said earlier, my word for the year is grace. It's January 20th. I've memorized two verses so far, and my third is just about planted in my heart. The first one I memorized was Acts 20:24........
However, I consider my life worth nothing to me. My only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me ~ the task of testifying to the Good News of God's grace.
I told a dear friend yesterday that what I have had in mind for my words and what God's intentions have been, has yet to match up. This year, barely 3 weeks old, has hit me with some pretty solid punches about understanding what it will mean to testify to the Good News of God's grace. And the variation from what I thought and His thoughts could not have been more different. (My other two verses so far have been Acts 20:32 and 2 Corinthians 12:9-10.)
If you take the resources and a little bit of living and mash it all up, you get my current set of circumstances. Unexpected, uninvited, and unwanted. But, shall we take the good from God and not the bad? No, never, heaven forbid.
As I tucked my babies (11 and 13) in last night, I told them that while I would never have 'picked' the hardest things I have gone through, I also wouldn't change them because those have been the times that God has grown my faith the most, drawn my heart closer to His, and made me to look more like Him. Nothing this world could ever offer me would make me trade that kind of truth for a cheap imitation of it.
And so here I sit, praying that the road I am about to walk will be like so many others in the past: fruitful, full of purpose, and a revelation of His glory that I can't even imagine. I know that I will see Him giving me daily bread and that the needs that arise will be met in His glorious riches in Christ Jesus. Because the truth is the word of His grace will buid me up and His grace will always be sufficient in my weaknesses. My Hope has never disappointed me yet, and I can say with confidence, it's not going to start now.
Father, You have a plan that we can't see that is for our good. Above all else, Your love is magnified in the things You use to increase our knowledge, dependence, and praise of You. Not because You are selfish, but because you know that when we understand that, that when we live like that, we will have the abundant life you came to give. Help us accept whatever is coming our way and to trust that where we are going, You are leading. In the powerful, redeeming, glorious name of Jesus, amen.
The sheworksHisway membership portal will open for new members next week.
Hillary Scott's song, "Thy Will Be Done" is here.