12:20 on what is now technically December 28th. Just crawled into bed, feeling rejuvenated by today and have some things I figured I would write before going to bed. I hope some of this makes sense to me when I read it back, it's late. My dog Marley is snoring. I have gotten all my film photographs back from Taiwan and weeks prior, and have been slowly going through them. I'll be posting my favorites from time to time on here. They've got nothing to do with what I'm writing, but are such beautiful memories. This photo is of this little angel that I broke once but now is prepared. It's from a nativity scene from the church that I have yet to return her too. I love this little thing.
I am in eager anticipation of the new year. I feel like there is so much that has been being prepared in my life. Things that needed to break, things that needed to heal, things that needed to be removed, things that needed to be softened, all for the table to be set. All these moments aligning like a constellation to create something beautiful together - to tell the story of God. To put down a couple lines on the canvas so we can understand who He is a little bit more than we used to. I am eager with hope to watch the story continue to unfold. It has been a wild ride to this point and I can only assume it gets better.
Isn't it mysterious, all of life? In it's seasons, in it's swaying and breathing? Isn't God mysterious, in how He loves us, disciplines us, gives grace, and sets us free all at the same time? If there is anything I have learned this year, is to give grace to the season I am in, and the season that others are in - knowing that it usually will not be the same. It is difficult to celebrate a victor when you are defeated, and unnatural to notice a struggling neighbor in seasons of triumph - but it is so important that we grow aware of the up and down, the in and out of all that is going on in and around us. It is important to have faith and hope, no matter what is going on in life, whether the mess is created by your own hands of the hands of others. All of it has purpose. I desire more than anything now - more than success, applause, or perfection - to be graceful. I want to have grace for my own path, and for the paths of those I am walking with and among. I want to take inventory of my life and begin to see the shortcomings as chances for redemption, not destiny-shattering mistakes. I want to look at the parts of my friends lives that I judge and say, "I don't understand, but God does and loves this person too." God becomes my definition and not anything else.
Our economy is different than God's. Our timing is different than God's. We want outcomes, God wants friendship. We want a book with the leather cover but God just wants to live the story. We want the mountain top but God lives on the trail.
I couldn't tell you why God does certain things in the timing or fashion He chooses. Why does he allow us the obstacles, why does he let the thorns stay in our sides? Why does He help us sometimes and other times He watches along side us? Why is it that sometimes we are called to wait? For long periods of time - for breakthrough, for freedom, for things to grow again? I don't really know. But I have a sense, a hunch - that the magnitude of our trials are correlated with the magnitude of authority we will have in our victory. The deeper the hole, the more glory to God and the more grace to be displayed. He is strengthening our legs for when it's time to run.
So whatever you have found yourself in this season. Trials, hardship, sins - of many shapes and sizes, strengths or colors. Remember that you too, have a turn to be free, and it's coming right up.