The thing about a great work of God in your life is that you can't possibly explain it completely in words. You can share facts. You can give details. You can invite others to participate, and those people will have the greatest understanding of the work of God in your life. But truly explaining it? I'm not sure that's possible.
For a few years prior to this year, I chose one word that I believed God was giving me for that year. A word that described what God planned to do in my heart that year, a word that I planned to diligently work toward improving. I always spent time in the Word and prayer waiting for God to show me what it was He planned to do in my heart throughout that year, and He was always faithful to do it.
At the beginning of this year, I chose no such word. I considered it, but I decided that God didn't have a specific word to reveal to me at that point. There was so much happening in our lives in January that I didn't know if I just didn't have enough time or energy to focus deeply enough and listen or if that was truly what God was telling me, that this was not a a time when He was going to tell me what He planned to do in my life or what He wanted me to do in my life to draw closer to Him. I struggled with that. Was it me, or was it God?
It was God.
I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that had God revealed exactly which one word He planned to use to rock my world this year, I would not have been transformed the way that I have. I would have nit-picked and forced it. It may not have been pretty. It wasn't necessarily a pretty journey anyway. I am glad God didn't tell me. I grew this year. I have a long way to go, but I experienced intense growth like never before.
The truth is, now that I am looking back over the past 11 months of my life, there were many, many ugly moments. I fought. I kicked. I screamed. I refused to accept the fate that some were saying was going to be mine. I grew angry. I went through stages of mourning in some respect, mourning the life that I had, the life that I wanted back, and then eventually deciding that I didn't want it back, that God had better things for my future. I was not sick, but the circumstances in our lives were so shockingly abnormal that our responses to them were not always what they should have been. They were not always godly. They were often quite the opposite.
Trust. God was teaching me to trust this year.
It sounds so trite. Every evangelical holiness girl knows that she is supposed to trust God. What kind of person am I to admit that I wasn't doing that? That after all these years of pursuing the God of the universe, I wasn't choosing the basic truth of the Christian faith, that I could trust God with every aspect of my life? We all say it to each other. "Oh, your mother is ill? Trust God. He'll get you through it." "You lost your job? God will provide. Just trust Him." "You have a disease? God can heal you. Trust God."
Trust, trust, trust! My head knew that this was the basic means by which I was going to make it through this life. My heart was fighting it. I could look back at all the circumstances of my life and see His almighty hand in each moment. But I wasn't fully trusting Him? Why? Why was I fighting the Creator of all things for control? Reason and doubt were having a battle in my mind and heart, and this was the year during which one of them had to finally win.
When the rubber meets the road in your own life in catastrophic ways, when you don't have any idea how anything is going to work in your favor, when everything in your life is outside your control and there is nothing you can do to fix or improve any of the walls that are crumbling around you, you quickly realize that you never realized what you were saying to all those people when you told them to trust God, that you never understood it yourself.
But after 11 months of firing in the Potter's kiln, I do. I see it. I look back and notice His hand in everything. Sure, I saw it along the way. I listened. I read. I prayed. I cried. I shouted. I ran away. I ran to Him. I let Him hold me.
He spoke. He revealed. He cried with me. He whispered. He ran to me. He reached. He loved. He delivered.
Trust. These past 11 months are the months that this control freak learned to trust. Trust God. Trust God through my husband. Trust Him for provision. Trust Him for truth that set me free. Trust Him for peace. Trust Him for tender loving care, for a gentle touch, for a sweet prodding toward Him. Trust Him for deliverance, redemption, joy.
God taught me to trust, and I am grateful. I am still learning. I am still growing. I am resting in His love this morning, knowing that I have far to go on this journey but knowing that, no matter what comes my way, I can trust God to get me through it, to get me to where He wants me to be.