“A lot can happen in a year. It turned out to be a year like no other for Sarah. Which is not surprising when you have a year bookended by visits from God. Do you realize this year could be the same for you? This year could begin in the shadows with a laugh and a lie and end with you embracing a promise.
You may be thinking, wait a minute, I am not lying. You are if you are saying any of the following:
It’s too late.
I’m too young.
I’m too old.
I’m not qualified.
I’ve made too many mistakes.
I don’t need a dream.
Don’t lie and say that you do not long for more. Don’t deny your dreams. When you do, there is first a laugh and then a lie as the door of your heart shuts. Throw open your heart and embrace all the miraculous wonder you’ve been invited into. Rather than mock the invitation, that we could ever live a life that is at once both miraculous and divine, let’s laugh at the ridiculous wonder of it all! We are like Cinderella, and this world could be likened to our evil stepsisters. How long will we continue to cry by the hearth filled with yesterday’s ashes when the Prince is at our door? You have everything you need to live the life only he could dream for you. Why have you been content to let someone else or even the past RSVP for you?
So what are you hiding from? What is the dream that you now mock? What is the hope? You know that nervous laughter that catches in your throat in an attempt to cover what is now too painful to be taken seriously? Listen! You are neither qualified nor disqualified. You are in on this promise because of Christ. Or maybe your life is no longer a place of pain. The ache is gone and all that is left is numbness. Is it a place that when God touches it you cry? Far too many are empty, so they laugh in an attempt to mock hope. Is it because on some level you are like your father Abraham when you believe that there are some things that are just too hard for God? Is it too hard for him to weave meaning into your life? Is it too late for him to put love into your world? What is it that you think is too hard for him to do for you?
God’s destiny for your life, and his words over you, are not limited to your current situation. His promise to you is unrivaled. Don’t hide from it. Embrace it.
Is there a promise that God has made to you that you are laughing at and lying about?”
– Without Rival by Lisa Bevere Chapter 3
2018 has been a trip. A roller-coaster, a quest even. Somewhere at the halfway mark of last year, the hubs and I prayed for God to make our lives an adventure. And what a trip that was! I remember at the beginning of the year in the middle of the first service in church, deciding to hold tight to God’s promise for the year. He promised victory and healing. One I understood, the other I didn’t quite get. What would I really need healing for? Well, that made sense a little later in the year.
I picked up Without Rival in 2016 and remained glued to this chapter. I was in a bad place and I had believed the lie that I was still a ways on due for a breakthrough. So I focused on championing my husband’s dreams. This chapter and the conversation with Dave after showed me just how flawed my thinking was. I talk about this more in my book that I’ll soon publish so I won’t even get too deep into it.
But looking back at 2018, at all the fears, all the sorrows, all the hurts, all the pain, I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that it was a year bookended with the promises of God in every way possible. We experienced massive victory. And I wouldn’t be here if God didn’t let streams of healing flood my soul all year long.
There was a time when I got tired of crying all the time, especially on Sunday, and I had my wrestle with God and said, “I don’t care how, but you have to do it. I can’t keep crying and feeling this way. I want to move to a new place. It’s about time. I’m tired of always saying this is my year to move. You promised victory, and I want it. I need it. I want to see your promises come through in my life. Victory and healing, right? That’s what you said. I’m so tired and it just can’t stay like this.” I probably said more things than I can remember but that was the gist of the prayer. I got fed up of being sad and feeling taken over by my circumstance so I told God to do something. And He did. Not because I asked, I suppose. But I was ready for everything that would come after.
As you’ve seen if you’ve stuck around here, it’s not been easy, the after that is. But I’m on solid ground now. Even after my last post, I prayed to God for new and good friends. And I believe He’s answering that in His own wonderful way. This first week of the year has been a trip too! It appears that I carried the victory and healing over into the next year and quite honestly, I’m still in awe.
“Blessed and greatly favored is the man whose strength is in You,
In whose heart are the highways to Zion.
Passing through the Valley of Weeping (Baca), they make it a place of springs;
The early rain also covers it with blessings.
They go from strength to strength [increasing in victorious power];
Each of them appears before God in Zion.“ – Psalms 84:5-7 AMP
I used to love this scripture but I get it now because I’ve lived through it.
There’s so much that I want to say and I’ll get into it soon enough this year. The after is something else let me tell you.
I guess I shared this excerpt from Without Rival hoping it finds you where you are at the start of the year. Like you, I’ve felt cheated by God because of what I went through. And I know how hard it is to hold on to a dream or a promise when everything’s not working. But I held on. I called on God every step of the way and He didn’t disappoint me.
This year, my after, is another wild trip in every aspect of my life. If at all I hoped or faithed or held on to God’s promises last year, this year will need far much more than that.
Adventure, right? Be careful what you wish for I guess.
But God’s Hand is better than light, and safer than a known way. So I know what road I’m taking.
He has began with me, and He will end it with me. For His name’s sake, for His glory.