A New Year, a clean slate……ready to be filled with joy and pain, good and bad, smiles and tears. But ready more than anything to be filled with the Presence of my everlasting and ever loving Father. A New Year, I think requires a look back at the old year while at the same time straining and keeping our eyes on what lies ahead.
Today, thanks to some writing I have been doing over the past year and a half I had a unique opportunity to look back at what I wrote to welcome in 2014. I was literally struck by the writing…….it centered around a word that proved, in retrospect, to be a near perfect description of different ways in which 2014 played out. The word was dynasty and last year as I puzzled over why God would give me such a different word I grasped hold of one definition of dynasty: “a family/team that is powerful or successful over a long period”. I knew, right then and there I wanted to be part of God’s dynasty and God spoke to me through some odd insights in to four animals: a duck, a moose, a lion and a goose. I wrote these words about a duck “ducks are interesting creatures….on water they move gracefully and freely, but on land they seem to waddle to their own offbeat tune. Their quacking increases in intensity when they feel threatened yet seem to sing almost a lulling tune when paddling peacefully alongside their mate”. Oh what truth rang to this, I can see those days when I kept my eyes on Him, focused on walking in the strength and love of His Spirit I was able to move gracefully and freely but when my focus wandered away the days became awkward and difficult. This past year I experienced more healing and spiritual growth than I had ever dreamed possible. I wanted desperately to be part of His dynasty and through that healing God has began laying out more and more ways for me to share His love with others…….through friendships, through people He has brought into my path and even………to my amazement through preaching His Word on occasion!!!
Last year I wrote maybe God wanted me to be a moose in His dynasty; to live more by faith and less by sight; to learn to peacefully exist in whatever circumstances are before me. No, I definitely have not been a perfect moose, but 2014 taught me lessons about slowing down, moving in His seasons and allowing Him to direct the seasons rather than me trying to constantly take control. I have had some amazing moments of soaking in His Presence, just allowing Him to fill me rather than fighting endlessly toward an unknown goal. Sometimes just soaking in His presence is all we are capable of, and He honors that and fulfills it in ways we never realized we needed.
As a lion in God’s dynasty in 2014 I was humbly honored to be a part of faith community that has grown spiritually by leaps and bounds. When the leader of our community was hit with a very difficult season this community of faith came together as a pride…..lifting each other up in faith and spirituality and at times literally roaring with amazing, Spirit filled and heart wrenching prayer for all those in our community who were in desperate need. It was an honor and a privilege to watch this “pride”, this faith community rise spiritually to the occasion and support their leader in way that honored our Heavenly Father.
Finally, last year, God asked me to be a goose in His dynasty; an animal with strong values, loyalty and a willingness to care for and protect those who are physically or even spiritually injured. A goose will guard an injured family member until he/she recovers or dies. I cannot even describe how being a goose has played out this year. As two members of our close knit community of friends faced overwhelming challenges we have literally stood guard over them; covering them in prayer, filling in for them when they simply could not face another person, and given our own shoulders to their buckets of tears all the while wading through our own grief within these situations. These five friends have bowed shoulder to shoulder to our Father in the fiercest love, loyalty, caring and protection I have ever been witness to……and we have survived; even thrived.
The challenges of 2014 are far from over; these friends and others will continue to need each of these animals in their corner………but what being a part of His dynasty (family successful over a long period of time) has taught me will never, ever be forgotten. Not only will it never be forgotten…..but as He promises in His Word He has used, is using and will be using ALL of this to His Glory. 2014 was PROOF BEYOND A SHADOW OF A DOUBT of this promise:
“And we know that in ALL things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified”. Romans 8: 28-30 NIV
Thank you Father……for calling me to be part of your dynasty for 2014 and may I forever honor and glorify you in all circumstances! Amen
This goodbye 2014 post is lovingly dedicated to the gatherers of Grace Outrageous Ministry (GO Ministry) and to the five most amazing friends in the world…….Tress, Beverly, Sharon, Dawn and Dawn….I love you all!!!
MOST IMPORTANTLY IT IS DEDICATED TO HIM WHO HAS MADE IT ALL POSSIBLE……MY LORD AND SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST!!!