2020’s reminded me of an illustration I heard Priscilla Shirer give a while back. If you were to hold a full cup of water with your arm outstretched and someone came and bumped your arm, it’s going to spill out, right?! The same applies to the cups of our hearts when life bumps us – we’ve all been jostled this year. What spilled out of our hearts?
This is usually one of my favorite times of year. A time to reflect on the year and dream about the next. This year’s been more of a struggle though. I feel as though the last few weeks everything has hit me like a ton of bricks. 2020 brought A LOT of challenges … for everyone. Not only a global pandemic, unrest surrounding racial injustice, and divisive politics, but also personally being diagnosed with breast cancer and both of my grandpa’s going home to be with Jesus. In fact, we just finished live streaming my grandpa’s (on my mom’s side) funeral as I write this.
It’s been a struggle to put into words what I’ve felt this week. 2020 started full of ideas and goals. This year my mom moved in with us (although we knew this was God’s timing, we had no idea how much of a blessing this would end up being as the year unfolded), the pandemic hit, my youngest child asked Jesus in her heart, my best friend and I started a podcast, I was diagnosed with breast cancer, my best friend was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, so many friends and family members came to visit and pray over me, my mom took a bad fall, I started this blog, and like I previously mentioned, lost both of my grandpa’s. Ya’ll through everything this year, our house has been filled with worship and praise.
So, why on earth after everything we’ve been through am I falling apart NOW when it seems like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel?? I believe it’s multiple reasons. I experienced a supernatural strength during my diagnosis and I believe God gives this to help us walk through difficult times. Now everything is hitting me HARD. The only way I know how to describe this is the supernatural adrenaline has stopped … it feels like a form of post trauma.
Yesterday as Tim and I went running, I poured my heart out to him about my identity being shaken, wanting to serve God and feeling like He can’t use me in recovery. He reminded me that we were made to worship. The boy, whose lunch fed the 5,000, went that day to worship Jesus – to BE with Jesus and to abide in His presence. He DIDN’T pack a lunch for 5,000. I’m guilty of stressing about the serving and this ISN’T the service Jesus wants! It sounds so simple doesn’t it? So why do I have to complicate it?? I don’t have to fear what’s next, what to write, what to say, or what this hormone treatment will do to me because my only job is to do what He’s put in front of me (pack my loaves and fish) and worship!
For 2021, my word is “Abide”. I’m choosing to live every day, one day at a time. There are many things in my life that I wish I could hurry through. I wish that my hair would grow faster, that my body would heal faster, that the next 10 years that I have to take this hormone treatment would fly by. But really, I don’t want to miss out on the journey. So that’s why I’m choosing this year to sit at the feet of Jesus and live fully in TODAY. Enjoy every moment. Yes planning is all fine and good, but as we learned from 2020, plans can change. Mine changed drastically with the 6 letter word C-A-N-C-E-R.
Tim and I always pick a word for the year and have a dream board night where we find pictures of things we want to focus on that have to do with mind, body, soul and spirit. I remember the first year we created dream boards was at the company Tim worked for. I had found a picture of 4 women linking arms (obviously friends) and I had made it my focus to have friends because, as I’ve shared before, that was not always the case. Well, years later, I can say God’s given me those friends. Not just because I glued a picture to a poster board, but because in setting my focus on “showing myself friendly” (Prov. 18:24) it was constantly on my radar. But, this year I’m having a hard time dreaming because I’m gravely reminded of how things can change – what can easily appear to be for the worse. So, this year my dream board is going to look a little different. It’s been hard to see the forest from the trees, if you will. So, Tim has been shedding a lot of light/truth over me and one of the many reasons I’m so thankful for him. He encouraged me to make my dream board more of a 5-year vision and for this year, focus on abiding/healing. I decided to put pictures and verses on my board reminding me of the things God’s shown me throughout 2020 and who He says I am! As difficult as this past year was, it was also filled with such sweet moments with my Jesus. I’ve never felt more close to Him than I have in this year. Now, I need to be reminded of this as I’m struggling mentally. I need to remember the things God has done this year to continue moving forward in my mind, body, soul and spirit.
So how do you dare to dream and what does your vision look like when you’re scared to dream? The answer I’ve found is simply in a question I must ask myself EACH day. When life’s going smoothly, is worship filling my heart? When I’m bumped, or jostled by life, will WORSHIP come spilling out? Am I abiding at the feet of my Jesus EACH day?