Saturday, April 26, 2014

Celebrating a Miracle-filled Year.

"Your love never fails, it never gives up, it never runs on out me... And I don't ever have to be afraid, cuz this one thing remains : Your love never fails."
Sitting here this morning with a cup of coffee and listening to ^that^ song on Pandora. And I've got a smile on my face.

So I don't know if this is an actual thing or not, but once someone said that the birthday when your age matches the number of your birthdate, is called your 'golden' birthday. I specifically remember because I was 10 at the time and my friend was having her 'golden' birthday turning 11 and I couldn't help but feel like it wasn't fair that I had to wait all-the-whole-long-lifetime until I actually turned the ripe old age of 26.

And here it is.

Wish I could tell that 10 year old me that 26 is hardly the antique age I thought it must be.

Anyways... I've been thinking this past week about the last year and all the ways that God has loved me to Himself and the treasures He has given me in revealing His heart toward me and for me. And I've had an overwhelming sense that my 25th year of life has been a year of MIRACLES.

I was just reading my journal from one year ago and remembering how deeply I was struggling with surrendering to God's desire for me. His desire that I trust Him. I was scared of the future and what God  would ask me to walk through and I was terrified of the pain that would accompany that. I had my list of "worst-case scenarios" and all of them, in my mind, couldn't possibly be God's best for me. My fear was that God might actually allow those things to happen because they were apart of His 'Great Big Peferct Will for the World' but that I would get lost in the 'grand scheme of things' and I would be left wounded, bleeding, and forgotten.

And if someone had tried to tell me that I would learn to trust my Savior's heart through the very thing I claimed that I could never do... well, I just wouldn't have believed it.

So, when the past year brought a season of solo-parenting, I learned that I was right. I couldn't do it. Not on my own. But with Christ as my strength, my rock, and my stronghold, I learned that I could trust Him to meet me at my limits and when I couldn't continue another second, somehow I made it one more minute, one more hour, one more day, one more week. And although at one time I thought I could get this parenting thing licked, I now realize that even in a two-parent home, I don't have enough and can't be enough to do this thing without Jesus. (heck, there could be a dozen parents working together and I'd still be a wreck.)

So the miracle? In what I deemed would not and could not be loving of God to ask of me, He worked in my heart and through my circumstances to make me a better mom. He took the realities of my loneliness, my exhaustion, my 'at-the-end-of-my-too-short-rope' feelings and drew me to Himself and to dependence on Him and His grace. I love my daughters more deeply now that I have seen that my flesh's weakness doesn't have to mean guilt or defeat in child-raising but has birthed a path to victory through humbling mothering my daughters, not in perfection, but in His power.

In addition to being terrified to parenting alone, I had a gripping fear of loneliness. The thing is, I've experienced this lonely feeling for most of my life, even when in the midst of a crowd of people. And maybe I thought that it would swallow me if I found myself literally alone for an extended amount of time. (of course, there were usually 3 little ones around, but I think you get my point.)

So naturally, when I felt the Lord leading my to sit in my 'aloneness' and not fill it with social media, television, food, girls nights 3 times a week, and whatever else I could schedule, I. DID. NOT. LIKE. IT. But God had something for me there too. In the quiet and in that pain, He met me in a way I'd never known Him truly before. I met Him as Friend and as Husband. And I experienced the miracle He had for me when I let HIM complete me. And He makes me full and so very satisfied.

And of course there are the anonymous gift cards that allowed me to buy Christmas gifts, and the garage sale money that seriously, I'm postitive mulitplied like the loaves and fish, and healed family relationships, and friendships that are the most real I've ever experienced, and provided vehicles and housing, and support from so very many people.


Yep. I'm telling you.... it's been the year of MIRACLES for me.

And He gives beyond which I could ever imagine.

"And they who know Your Name [who have experience and acquaintance with Your mercy] will lean on and confidently put their trust in You, for You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek [inquire of and for] You. [on the authority of God's Word and the right of their necessity]" Psalm 9:10AMP