My theme for last year was “it is on its way,” based on Habakkuk. As I entered 2016, the Lord had prompted my heart to believe He would work in many of the things that were undone – things I had been called to step into in faith the year before.
I’ve written a lot about hope, faith, and trust this year. I’ve talked about waiting and believing God would finish the things He has started in my life. I’ve felt the anxiousness of nothing seemingly moving and I’ve surrendered all these things before Him countless times.
I stopped expecting He would resolve everything this year. I knew He would not work on my timetable. That resolve also led to more hope. The more time still left on the clock, the more opportunity for Him to work and do really big things.
But what I didn’t expect was that He would resolve most of the things that had been left hanging in my life over the last couple of years.
It is on its way.
Apparently, it really was.
And it brought me to a place of disappointment.
Rejection, “no”, closed doors, death, loss, and a whole lot of adjusting.
Many of these things I was forced into. But some of it was my choice to step out of the boat, believing somehow God would use it for good.
I cannot deny that the Lord has done many good and wonderful things this year. But can I just be honest for a moment and say 2016 was really hard? And I wouldn’t want to repeat it? And I’m ready to be rid of it?
There have been many times where I just wanted to hide away and spend endless hours with my journal, deciphering all the disappointment.
Still, I wanted to show up because I wanted to believe He wasn’t finished yet. I wanted to believe He would still come in at the last minute to save the day and turn it all around.
But some of these things have reached their end. It’s time to put them away and move on.
I’m coming up on a year post-surgery and I’m mostly the same as nine months ago. The difference is that my doctors have been able to piece some things together to help alleviate symptoms so I can function more normally. But they’re non-permanent solutions to what now appears to be a persistent problem, and we’ll have to continue to be innovative in navigating this new normal I’ve been so afraid of. It’s not that the surgery didn’t work, it just didn’t do all that we hoped it would. It will prevent future problems, and it did eliminate some of the current problems, but not all of them.
I’ve been rereading my journal entries from over a year ago, when God seemed to speak so clearly and told me this would only be temporary. I would be better, “in time,” is all He said.
There are other things now finding closure in disappointment, too; but this has been on the forefront of my heart lately.
So I’m trying to figure out where that leaves me – when God says He will do something and now somehow it seems He probably won’t. I know I likely won’t ever understand how He works or why things sometimes turn out this way.
We can approach it logically and say some of the things He says might not mean what we think it means. We may misinterpret His voice. We might not understand what He’s really trying to say. We could just not be in a position to see how He really did fulfill or resolve it.
But I cannot pretend I did not believe with 100% confidence He would do certain things in my life, and now those doors seem to be closed.
And that makes me feel a little lost. It makes me question some of the decisions I’ve made or the moves I’ve taken. I wonder if I’ve made wrong choices all long because I’ve worked from the perspective some things would happen that now will not.
At the same time, though, I have to remind myself I have not lost anything.
From here, there are only two options: Either the Lord will place something in my hands so much better than what I thought He would before, or He will still work in these situations. He is not limited by the days on the calendar, and time never runs out until He says it’s the end. He isn’t finished yet. He will redeem.
He does not leave us empty-handed.
When we have nothing else tangible to be placed in our hands at this moment, He fills our hands with more of Himself.
And that is enough.
So this will be my theme and prayer for 2017…
What He has given me is enough.
What He hasn’t given me is nothing I need.
If all He gives me is more of Himself and not anything else, it will be more than enough.
It is enough.
One popular verse often misinterpreted is Philippians 4:13, when Paul says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Many people quote this verse when they’re trying to do something that feels impossible, or they’re expecting God to give them something.
But in the previous verse, Paul talks about cultivating contentment in all situations – whether in want or in plenty. He knew he could, no matter his circumstances, because Christ gave him strength.
All of this made me think of that passage.
This cannot be about an expectation for something more. It’s about trusting that even though my hands feel empty in this place, He will help me do this.
He will help me live out this path He has put me on.
I have to believe Christ will give me the strength to keep moving forward. He will continue to provide everything I need. He will work in all the decisions I’ve made to ultimately make them what He wants them to be. He will continue pointing me in the direction of His good gifts, even if I cannot see them yet or I cannot identify them in this moment.
The journey won’t be easy. But He has placed me here and I believe it is good – it is good now and it will lead to good.
It will be enough.