I recently found this old entry dated January 2nd and I printed it out. It’s always good to remind yourself of what God’s been saying. Beloved, Bless and Beseech are words I need to revisit. I am God’s beloved, no longer defined by victimhood. His gift of words to me is something I should wield by blessing others. And praying for others is the best thing I can do on this earth. Good words.
The Lord often speaks words over me each year. In 2005, He said:
“Truth in love, joy in rest.” That year, I learned the difficulty and joy of telling the truth, and the beauty of learning to rest. One of the things I’ve done well (and I’m not one to commend myself) over the past two years has been learning to take sabbath each week. If you haven’t seriously considered setting aside one day to rest, I highly, emphatically recommend it. You can see one of our days of rest here.
Last year, two things:
“Abundance,” and “Be comfortable in your own skin.” Both of these aspects of learning to grow up in my faith were difficult for me. You’d think such a positive message from God would be easy. Everyone likes abundance, right? And being comfortable with who I am should be easy. Neither were.
I have a hard time understanding and experience the abundance of God. Even this year as I think about gardening again, I’ve revisited my tendency to settle for less. I would buy a six-pack of small annuals, dutifully waiting for them to grow instead of buying what I really wanted: a plant abundantly flushed with flowers. I tend to settle. And I believe that stems from a deep sense of inferiority on my part, an inferiority I’m trying to explore these days. But the kind of abundance I’d like to understand and live doesn’t have to do with purchasing things. It’s the realization that I tend to view this world pessimistically. I’m like Peter walking through the waves, concentrating more on the water licking my feet than the eyes of Jesus. I’m Martha, busily fretting over preparation instead of sitting at Jesus feet, staring into His abundance. Jesus is the abundance I really need. He sooths the rough edges of pessimism and inferiority.
I suppose that relates to being comfortable in my own skin as well. If I stay with Jesus, holding His steadfast, loving gaze, I’ll begin to see me as He sees me. With surprise and delight and joy. I’m not there yet. But I’m closer.
This year, I heard three things from the Lord:
- Beloved, not a victim
- Bless others with writing
Beloved, bless, beseech.
The triumvirate of words has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?
I’ve spent my life playing the role of victim quite well. I’ve realized this when I became irritated with others who play the role expertly. (Here’s a helpful hint. If something about someone else really, really bothers you, look in the mirror. It’s more than likely something you don’t like about yourself.) I’m tired of that role. I’ve tried to escape from it, but have so far been quite unsuccessful. Being a victim is comfortable to me. It’s what comes naturally. It’s how I’ve coped with the world. Not to be one is waaaaaay out of my comfort zone. But I’d rather grow up. I’d rather put on my Jesus glasses and see me as God sees me, one who is greatly and immeasurably beloved. It feels mechanical to type those words, but I pray, by God’s Holy Spirit, that this year I would truly-truly-truly understand that I am beloved of God and no longer a victim.
The “Bless” part of the yearly word is one of grounding. Lord willing, I’d like to start each writing day by considering others first. I’m not sure what form this will take, but the inclination I have is to write something for the sheer joy of blessing someone else with my words. Something unpublished. Something true. Something full of praise or blessing or love.
And “Beseech.” I love to pray. I love to pray for others. These past two years, that part of me has waned, buried under lots of worry and stress and the simple need to make it through each day. In the midst of living on the mission field, I became quite myopic. My longing this year is to become a woman of prayer again. To be extroverted in my prayers. To stop a friend on the phone who is hurting to pray. To lay my hand on the shoulder of my child and pray in the moment. Oh dear Jesus, make me a woman of prayer.