It's the eve of my 32 birthday and y'all - real talk, I've been a weirdo the past few weeks. I've been a teary, tender, nostalgic mess. I'm a birthday GIRL. I love birthdays. My birthday, your birthday. I'm your awkward friend who asks you at the group dinner what it is you're hoping for in the coming year. I can barely stay asleep the night before my own birthday because I'm just EXPECTANT. Lord - what is this year going to be like? How are you going to shift things?
But I wasn't feel that way this year. I was feeling tired, lonely, and sorry for myself. I told multiple people I just wanted to put on headphones the whole day of my birthday and be alone - which could not be further from my normal. Thankfully, my people are not letting that happen and they have a whole sweet day planned (AND MY GIRL BRITT JUST DROVE DOWN FROM INDIANA TO SURPRISE ME).
So before I go to sleep, I want to kick the enemy in the teeth to fight those wimpy feelings (which are mostly gone anyhow). I want to count the fruit of what God has done in the last year and boldly say the things I'm asking Him to do in the coming one.
Without further ado,
5 things I'm grateful God did this year:
1. This year I feel like God walked with me really sweetly through a season of doubt and grew me in it. I wrote a little about my Lent season here, but truly I feel like I'm rolling into 32 with a firm desire to know God more than I necessarily understand God. I used to want to be able to sit on top of all I knew about Him, to share it quickly, to be seen as someone who is wise or understands God. Now - I just want to be someone who seeks God, who loves Him, who sits in awe of Him. I've found that there's a really sweet and deep layer of faith found in the midst of doubt.
2. I feel like God really has continued to heal and strengthen our marriage this year. This time last year I could perceive that we were on the road to a place of peace, but now I feel like we live there most of the time. Not to say that there won't be new battles or bumps in the road, but I am really grateful for how God has grown Nick and I to be partners in the last year.
3. I've learned that I'm going to have to actively work to chill out and I'm the kind of person who needs to pursue pointless fun and fellowship. In the past years, I've worked on rest - but this isn't even about rest. It's about things having no purpose but glorifying God. It's about letting myself build things into the schedule that don't get me ahead, but help me abide.
4. I feel like God is slowly chipping away my fear of pain. Physical pain, emotional pain, spiritual burdens. I'm feeling less scared to feel and let others feel. Meningitis last fall helped. :)
5. God began a writing a really sweet comeback story with my health. I hear that phrase so often in my head when I'm exercising or making a salad or resting longer than I normally would. This is a comeback story.
Also, it's worth noting that these were some heart things that came to me first. But goodness gracious, I'm so grateful for lots of other stuff He did. My daughter became my sister, our church plant grew, Wild and Free launched... but those were the emo-heart-things that stood out to me first.
And, 5 things I'm asking God
for in the coming year:
1. I'm asking for some serious humbling and softening. There are a few little spots in my soul where I'm finding continual pride and selfishness. I'm grateful for His grace and hopeful for His gentleness.
2. Awake. I've been throwing around this word a lot the last month with the Lord and yeah, I'm praying He helps me live awake. Awake to the needs of others, awake and aware of what He's doing, not numbing myself or trying to pacify my mind.
3. Show us our land. Again, another prayer that's been popping up for months. Really, it started last December for our family. Praying He shows us some spiritual and physical land. A home for our church, a more permanent home for our family here in Charleston, and some spiritual land - the ground He wants us to take here in our city.
4. I'm praying that God would make me into a really great friend. Not for my glory, but for His. I want to start with being Nick's friend, then a caring mom/friend to our kids, then to those in our church and our neighbors, to our people. One of my August goals was to write down my people's love languages and as I've been doing it, I've seen how hard it often is for me to bend to those around me. But I want to! Lord, help me love them all well!
5. Gratefulness. I'm praying God brings a deep gratefulness to my soul for all He's done. I'm praying He helps me start my days with an overwhelming sense of ENOUGH in Him. I'm praying that we're able to continually break ties with STUFF and see success as His work all around us.
And with that, I'm ready.
Thanks God for all you did and all you're doing, you're infinitely better than cake.
Have your way in 32.