The Year of Not Yet

In true form, I am still reflecting on what-would-be resolutions this far into January. And I love it. I love coming back to my worksheets and planner and journal, cutting out things that aren’t priorities and adding things that have been needed, such as consistent Bible reading, studying, praying, and focusing on others. This afternoon, I pulled out my two favorite “new year” blog printouts: Beth Moore’s “Glancing Back Before We Move Forward,” and Tara-Leigh Cobble’s “The Ten.”

I wanted to share them with you, in part. First, Beth’s blog post on December 31, 2011:

“Spend a little time while today with Jesus begin very intentional about your last year. The changes. The ups. The downs. The hopes. The disappointments. The inconceivable grace of God. Something He brought you through that you were sure you couldn’t survive. Or something that has yet to come to resolution and what He has done even in the midst of the wait. Philippians 1:6 says that God will complete the work He started in us when He first saved us. That means for our whole lives long, change will be part of the agenda. Are we still changing? Are we still growing? Is there any evidence of growth over our last year?  These are important questions to ask ourselves before we get up tomorrow morning, put {2014} behind us (which is appropriate!) and embrace God’s goodness and grace toward {2015).  If you’re game, after spending those moments with God in reflection, write a comment to this post today using 3 words that have characterized {2014} for you. Tell us something that happened in your heart this year. I know that some of you have had a grueling 12 months and I don’t want you to have to fake it for our sakes, but please consider and express ways God has also shown His faithfulness to you. He’s good even when a season has been anything but.

I have had a hard time picking my 3 words to describe last year.

Last year, in some ways, was preventive. When you dare to dream, those dreams often get crushed. In many ways, I stopped hoping. Someone texted me last week and told me that he felt like he was supposed to tell me not to give up on my dreams. And you know? I realized that I didn’t have any. I had goals. I had passions. But dreaming? I was done with it. Our house was never built. My career promises never came to fruition. I lost people close to me. I believed for restoration for my family that didn’t come. I hoped for things in my marriage that didn’t happen. I was begging to see what God was doing. Even a glimpse would’ve been nice. But, in hindsight, God was preventing me from doing things I would later regret. He is so gracious.

In some ways, last year was paradoxical. When I held onto things, they seeped through my hands. When I tried to let things go, they stuck around. When I dreamed, my dreams got dumped. And, likewise, when I surrendered, I saw miracles happen. We stayed in our rental, and we love it better than the house we would have built. We sold the property we were going to build on and made a little bit of money, all the while thrilling the buyers, who had wanted to buy it when we did, but weren’t able to bid. When I prayed, my situation didn’t change, but I sure did. When I set out to make money, sitting jobs were canceled and people did me wrong and took advantage of me. But yet, when I stopped trying to make it happen and focused more on how what we had could benefit the Kingdom, jobs and money started coming out of nowhere. When I stopped forcing my husband into situations where I hoped he would feel comfortable, the Lord gave us an opportunity I thought he was sure to hate, and yet he has thrived in it. When I gave up on reconciled relationships, the Lord graciously mended them.

Over all, 2014 was parenthetical. And I knew it. The entire year, I felt like I was on the verge of something. It was a year of not yet. Waiting for the Lord to show up and work. Waiting for prayers to get answered. Waiting for a breakthrough. Learning to trust when I couldn’t see. Learning what walking by faith meant. The Lord renewed my hopes and dreams during this time. Not by fulfilling them or even giving me dreams, but by giving me permission to let HIM dream for me. His plans for us are better than we could ever plan for ourselves. In 2014, He allowed me to rest, to learn confidence in my identity as His child, to get filled up. For what, I didn’t know. And I still don’t have a complete picture. But that’s okay. Because we already know that He will complete the good work He started.

I hope you’ll take a few minutes to reflect on last year. I often get strength from reflecting on the past and recognizing what God has done.

And as we move forward, this, from Tara-Leigh, on January 1, 2010:

“So when I woke in darkness on the first new mercies of this year, I asked Him, “What now?”

He took my hand, put my fingers to His lips, and quietly spoke Psalm 62:1-2 to me.
For God alone my soul waits in silence;
from Him comes my salvation.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.”

Then He repeated Himself, the way He does when He means business:
Two hours after He led me to those words, I found a tiny scrap of paper someone had written them on.

And so my New Year’s Resolution, if you can call it that, is to learn to wait for Him alone. I don’t know yet how to learn this, but I know that I have a patient, loving teacher.

I step into The Ten, lighter for lack of fear, heavier for weight of hope.

“All the waiting that I’ve done, all the waiting yet to do.” “

Sometimes, resolutions aren’t specific actions with hugely measurable results. Sometimes, they are quiet, unseen, unnoticed, powerful things that could silently change your life. So, amid your “try a new diet” and “clean the house weekly” and “be more social” resolutions, maybe add something quiet on there. Something like, “memorize a passage every month” or “pray for 10 minutes each day” or “write out three blessings every day” or “read at least two verses each morning” or “send one Scripture each day to a friend.”

Consider asking the Lord for a word and a verse this year. My word for 2015 is steadfast. Psalm 42:8 says, “By day the Lord commands His steadfast love, and at night His song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life.”  Every day, I want to remember His love for me. I want my life to sing to Him and to glorify Him. And I want to continue steadfastly doing the things I know I should be doing, even if I don’t see immediate results.

His promise remains and He will be faithful. 

I resolve to believe that.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “The Year of Not Yet

  1. This afternoon I was about to start a post titled “The Year of Not Yet” and decided to Google the phrase to see what else had been written along those lines. This blog was the only result I got. I know this was written a while ago so forgive me for dredging up old things, but I thought the seeming coincidence was fascinating. Even better, my word for this year is “steadfast.” Thank you, from a random stranger on the internet who is just trying to follow God’s leading too (:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s