Every year around this time my heart turns inward to reflect upon the months past and look forward to the year to come. I can truly see God’s hand moving in my life. At the end of 2013 I decided to do a “one word” focus instead of a resolution. God’s word for me was COMPLETE. I should have known then that the journey was about to begin!
Around that same time, I committed to a prayer mission trip to Jeffrey’s Bay, South Africa. I remember the year beginning with such a strong sense of expectancy. I knew that I would make the long journey to serve in prayer, and that He would speak, and I desperately wanted, needed, to hear His voice. Beyond that, I was unsure of what was to come. Little did I know that what God had in mind would surpass even my expectations, and that it would go well beyond my trip to JBay.
Simply put, Jesus wanted to date me. He wanted my whole heart, not just the tiny pieces that I was comfortable entrusting to Him. Ever the gentleman, He began to pursue me and make His intentions known. At that time, I couldn’t see how relentlessly He was pursuing me, I was so blinded by grief and bound by lies. But over time, after receiving countless love letters, talking to Him and learning to hear His voice, I saw that God wanted to bring me to a place of wholeness and completeness in Him.
The closer I got to JBay, the more I realized that I was already hearing His voice. Just the year before, during a season of grief, I had a strong impression that there would be healing for me on the beach. So I planned my own trip to the beach that year with a friend. I found no healing, so I brushed it off as nothing. I love how Papa has a sense of humor – and taught me that I must wait on Him for all He promises.
Finally, the time to travel to Jeffrey’s Bay arrived, and after a long flight we arrived and settled in for the night. Every morning of the trip I was eager to meet with Jesus on the beach. Though I was tired, I loved to sink my toes in the sand and watch the beautiful sunrise. I was in awe of his creation, and that week I found the healing I needed. Months earlier I sought Him for answers on who I am and who I was created to be, and every morning He answered me with something new about my identity in Him–and I learned more about His character. He gave me a purpose to reach out and support others who share my story, an assignment that I have wrestled with for most of my life, which I finally surrendered that week.
During that precious time with Him, God showed me clearly that in my times of trouble he had never left my side. He spoke clearer than ever and for the first time I felt His presence and His love. It was such a freeing experience and it changed my life. By showing me that He would never leave me or forsake me, He wanted me to trust Him for where He wants to take me in the future. The adventure was just beginning!
My healing journey continues day after day. Through countless sermons, quiet times alone in the word, and counsel from my tribe, I gave Him the broken pieces of my heart and soul, and He poured out His healing. The more time I spent with Him, the more time I wanted to spend with Him. I hungered and thirsted after Him, and the more I drew near to Him, the more He drew near to me (James 4:8). There were definitely days when I fought the process, wanted healing to be a one step process, but He showed me that anything worth having is worth a fight – including my healing. Even on the tough days I refused to let go of His hand. The end result has been a year of learning to trust in God and surrender all to Him.
God is teaching me how to have a soul satisfied in Him, a soul that will never be satisfied by people, jobs, busyness or things. God gave me the desire to dream again. He filled my heart with new dreams and brought greater life to the old dreams in my heart. He gave me His heart for adventure and a hope for the future. He gave me the greatest gift of all – MORE OF HIM! And I eagerly look forward to all that He has to show me and teach me in the new year.
I hope you’re able to reflect upon the year and look forward to 2015 with anticipation! Praying that you will keep an open heart and open hands to all God wants to do in your life. Have a blessed New Year!