For me, the space between the years, the decades, the past few days has been chaotic. We turned everything upside down to update our kitchen, which left all other chores and responsibilities halted for the week. The New Year came and I wasn’t ready. My washing machine was in my coffee room and my silverware was on my back patio and my coffee maker was in the mud room. Laundry was mounting, my new Bible reading plan untouched, and we were living on fast food instead of greens and black-eyed peas. Not exactly the picture of preparedness for all things new.
Today is the day when I stopped. I spent the day looking back and looking ahead. Michael sent me away to a place of serenity and told me not to rush home. He packed me a thermos of coffee and started my car and whisked the kids away on an all-day adventure, leaving me no other choice but to comply.
It wasn’t hard. I wanted and needed this day. Not only logistically to plan for my homeschool and upcoming trips, but also just to quiet my brain. Collect my thoughts. Perhaps even generate new ones…
Looking back on 2019 floods me with gratitude. We had so much quality time together as a family. After years of planning, we took the kids on a loop around the American West and saw so much of God’s good and glorious creation. It was spectacular. A time we will treasure always. This was a year of togetherness.
Looking ahead to 2020 brings some trepidation. We are facing a deployment soon. The dread washes over me in waves, unexpectedly. Yesterday he simply walked by me in the kitchen and it made me cry. His nearness is a gift. Proximity is a treasure. The simple moments are those in which I miss him most when he’s gone.
But looking ahead also fills me with purpose.
I’ve been enraptured by stories the past few weeks. I have read seven novels over the holidays. I’ve not read too many novels as an adult; textbooks and journals always took the place of any reading for pleasure. It’s only been in the past year or two that it even occurred to me that I could read for fun. As a hobby and not an obligation. And oh! The power of a story! How the characters get into your heart and your mind! How you feel for them and wonder about them and hope and fear for them! It’s no wonder God communicated his plan and purpose through a Story.
And this is how God has been prompting me as of late. I’d been searching for clarity on what to share with a particular group I’ve been asked to speak to this summer. I’ve been overwhelmed and intimidated and a little nervous. I’ve been praying in earnest seeking direction, thinking God would reveal something wondrous and exciting and deep and profound. And He did.
Through His Word.
The power of a story.
Tell your story.
Is there really anything more compelling than a blind man who can now see? Or a lame man who can now walk? Or an anxious person at peace? An angry person full of joy? A bitter person forgiving? An obedient rebel? A gossip hold her tongue? A shy person proclaim Christ? A captive free?
So my word for the year (season? I’m not sure God follows our calendar system…) is TESTIFY. To give witness to, or an account of, that which God has done for me. In any capacity. Through any medium. Whenever I’m able. However I can.
And may my story always bring Him praise.
“Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” -Jesus