It’s easy to praise when the fruit is visible, when new buds break through hard soil, and affirmation from others comes in like a rushing wave. It’s easy to praise His name when life is steady, our calling is clear, and the direction of where to go is marked.
But what happens when it all feels wonky? When our dreams feel foolish and we begin doubting the very place we stand? When restlessness and discontent swoop in and carry us away.
I typically walk into the new year feeling ready. I’m an intention and goal setter. I like defining direction and vision on where I hope to be. I often look back before moving forward, naming any wins or hard moments from the year before. I lay it all down on paper before mapping out the year ahead. Fresh starts and new beginnings energize me. It’s why I love Mondays so much. All the muck from the week before, the mornings I slept too late or chose to mindlessly scroll, get a redo and are washed away.We’re offered a blank canvas and paintbrush to make something beautiful all over again.
But this year felt different for me. I wasn’t ready to set intentions or make a plan. I struggled to find clarity and purpose in the place God was calling me to. I wrote a few arbitrary goals just to feel like I accomplished something but each lacked depth and truth.
They merely filled an empty space in my notebook.
And now, being a few weeks into 2018, I look back at that day at our favorite coffee shop. The one when I scribbled a few things down that didn’t mean a whole lot and wonder – what if I had just left it blank?
Would that have been so bad? Why does the openness and unknown scare me so much?
What would happen if before we made a few lofty goals, we took our place at His table first – broken, needy, and desperate. What if we sat there long enough to ask – What do you want from me God? Can you remind me who I am?
Because I’ll be honest with you, sometimes I forget. Sometimes I forget how He sees me.
And in those moments of longing, I imagine Him cupping my face and whispering in my ear that my identity isn’t found in success and dreams achieved and a to do list but in being His. In being adored, cherished, and fought for every single day. Not a better, shinier model of myself but the woman I am right now. Even as the world tries to tell us something different.
This ground we walk is holy.
We might not have hit the ground running this year with a clear map of where we’d like to go. And it might feel like we’re spinning our wheels in the mud, stuck in the same place, and unsure of what to do next. It might be uncomfortably quiet, waiting on answers that haven’t come yet.
We might shake our fists and wonder if He’s with us at all.
The quiet doesn’t mean absence. He’s there. In the quiet, much is happening. Often we’re called to deeper communion with Him, a shedding of all the extra layers we wear and the chance to be brutally honest. The quiet says, Sit with your feelings, don’t run away from them. The quiet opens our eyes to the small, holy work to be done in front of us.
Friend, if this year started wonky for you, me too. If it feels like a whole bunch of unknowns rather than a clear arrow to go this way or that, me too. If you feel unsure, restless, and a tad frustrated, me too. While it may feel unknown and without clear vision, let’s cling to hope. Let’s lean into trust, knowing full well the Creator of all things is at work, on His timing, writing something really beautiful.
And we are here, palms open, feet on the ground, tending to the small things in front of us with great care and attention. Doing the work He’s asked us to do. We are here, chasing gratitude on the days we can’t find the light and tending to our souls even as the world shouts – hustle, more, and be busy.
We are here beloveds. Walking on holy ground even when it’s painstakingly quiet. We feel His presence and talk to him as we would a friend. We let it all go, we hold nothing back.
We are here. Feeding our families, folding laundry, and wiping of the counter tops, again. We’re breathing, alive, and awake. Seeds of passion and desire that He’s planted are being cultivated as we hush the critic and put one foot in front of the other.
We are here. So He isn’t finished with us yet.