A little over a year ago, a couple of my friends told me they thought 2018 would be a year of jubilee. That’s why it has come up in a lot of what I’ve written lately. I hoped it would be true. My mind filled with thoughts of resolve and things new and different. But those things didn’t happen. In a way, I still feels like I’m standing here watching for that new season I thought would be here a long time ago – even though it seems new seasons may not mean different right now.
Yet, jubilee was so evident.
Not how I expected – not in the way I hoped. But the Lord has provided.
He has given me rest just when it seems like I’m about to run out of any strength I can find.
He has given me moments to grieve when I needed.
He has given me peace in taking the time to prioritize, even as my priorities constantly get reoriented beyond my control.
He has given a clear way forward, if only just a day at a time.
And He has given me the space to dream.
Everything in the world seems to be working against it – like hope is too costly for those who know pain – but the Lord keeps persistently pursuing my heart and shifting my perspective to see what He can do.
But I don’t know what He’s going to do next. It often feels like I’m stuck in a place of surrendering hope and everything I thought I wanted to do. I waited the years He asked me to wait, and I’m not sure what I’m now supposed to see.
So I’m going to do something I probably should have done a long time ago, but didn’t want to because of the vulnerability it required.
I’m going to acknowledge the unknown.
It seems so simple; putting words to what is already there. But for those of us who are big dreamers, relentless hopers, and long-waiting sufferers, unknowns feels like deferred, yet sure, disappointments.
The world is suddenly colored in shades of what probably will never be. After all, that is what we’re told.
Let go of your own ideas. Expect the unexpected. Acknowledge that His plans are better. Your hopes and ideas might as well fade into the background of only what could have been – not what will be.
It’s true life won’t go the way we think it will – we all have the scars and stories as proof.
But that does not mean He won’t provide.
It does not mean He won’t compel us to stop, breathe, and dream.
The unknown is where we’re supposed to dream. We’re supposed to be so grounded in what is – God’s goodness through His sovereignty, the protection of His grace, and the promise of a future secure – that we are enabled and empowered to keep moving and hoping for something better still to come.
It is coming. And I hope that it will be a part of your future here, as temporary as it may be. And I know we need to acknowledge it may not. And I know this eternal future accomplished for us through Christ is the most precious of all – far more than anything we could know to ask.
And yet, I will still stand here with you, calling this brokenness not the way it’s supposed to be, relentlessly hoping, anticipating, all the good things He has for you.
Standing here with you, reminding you this is part of the plan, but it is not all of the plan.
Standing here with you, placing hope on the altar, knowing the future is already unfolding, the Lord guarding it, ready to reverse what seems irreversible so you won’t miss it.
Standing here with you, asking, without guilt or shame.
Standing here with you, dreaming, wide-eyed and joy-filled over what could be next.
Standing here with you, confronting the unknown and digging down deep to grab hold of the trust and faith needed to call it good – even when we don’t yet know what it is.
Because that is what He has done for me. That is what so many of you have done for me.
That was my year of jubilee.
People around me grabbing hold of that trust and faith, grabbing hold of me, and partnering with the Lord to create the space to dream and hope, even when it felt pointless.
So I know nothing better than to recognize 2019 as the year of the unknown. This is one of the first years I can remember where I literally have no idea what it will entail. I have no idea what’s next and I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. I don’t know what all might still change and I don’t know what will still remain the same. It feels fragile and insecure, because it’s completely out of my control.
It’s unknown to me, but not to Him, and that is enough.
Jubilee is the mark of an end – a sigh of freedom at the conclusion of a long season.
It’s also the beginning – a celebration of provision and hope for what will happen in the seasons to come.
To get there, to what’s next, we have to journey through the unknown.
He will guide us along the way, so we don’t have to fear.
We just need to go.