Large flakes spaced far apart drifted down from the heavenly night sky creating a sense of newness. The Old Year was passing away. The slate was being purified and created for a New Year. As hubby and I looked at our unusual desert wonderland, we were as excited as little kids. The heart that Jesus wants coming to Him. We joked with our neighbors out in this barren wilderness a little before midnight they engaged in a snowball fight.
Then a hush fell over our scene. A pristine blanket of white thickly layered over our lawn spoke of possibilities with God. His sense of humor. His heart to delight us. And we drank deeply of the intoxicating scene. As we closed the door on snow we hoped would still be there tomorrow, we closed the door on last year. Its trials, its joys. The splendor of its love. A love experienced deep within our souls.
LOVE~God’s one word given to me at the beginning of last year. When I heard it, saw it, knew all that it encompassed, I couldn’t imagine how I could possibly embody what LOVE is by the end of the year. That was the interesting part. I couldn’t! There was no possible way I could work up the feelings in my soul or the admonishment in 1Corinthians 13:2-8 regarding LOVE.
God spoke to my heart and said that the only way I could LOVE the way He called me to was to first soak in His LOVE for me. It still didn’t quite register. So many obstacles that pulled my heart away from the love He desired me to have, to experience from Him.
Quietly and almost unnoticeably, God began to work LOVE into my life. Sometimes it wasn’t the elated feeling I thought would come with that word but it was more like sandpaper scratching the surface of my heart.
First God nudged me into participating in the launch of a new book for Jennifer Dukes Lee called, “Love Idol.” The book taught me that I was approved in God’s sight and that I was His beloved. But God had some digging in my heart to do to free me of things that I clung to instead of him. Things occupying His place in my heart. It was ugly looking deep within myself to discover what I already knew but wasn’t sure I was ready to hand the mess over to God.
God blessed me with wise spiritual counselors and a circle of praying friends through whom He demonstrated His love. Gradually, God’s love was penetrating my heart. I began reading “The Loop“ and Jesus Calling. God was speaking His love directly to me.
In August, we had our Women’s Retreat entitled, “Loved Beyond Measure.” Tears of joy exuded from the LOVE Jesus was doing in my heart. I could finally sense the changing.
When faced with circumstances that could normally shake my foundation, I felt a peace. Nothing I strove to accomplish. God just made it present in His love for me. I was drawn to Jesus as my First Love once again and I thrived. Oh, I struggled, stumbled, missed times with His love, fought against His ways. But nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord Romans 8:39.
Being the generous, giving Father that He is, He filled my life with a year of moments that wrapped me in the expression of His exquisite love. Out of town friends staying at our home; our son’s wedding reception; a weekend with longtime Christian friends; a month’s vacation to far-off places with close friends; a birthday party to celebrate God’s gift of my hubby; the pleasure of our son’s and daughter-in-law’s company for Thanksgiving and pre- Christmas celebrations. The love of family. The endurance of longtime friends.
It was a season of blessings. A year of LOVE. A time of tasting God’s love. But it is not over.
God has only just begun.
When I finally sat still long enough to listen to His soft whispers, I thought I heard the Lord asking me that this New Year of 2015, I give Him “All of My Heart.” If I were picking only a word for this year, it would be ALL~a phrase–“all of my heart.” The work He began last year, Jesus plans to continue this year in my life.
I’ve heard many of you say that the One Word you were given for this year kept popping up in different places. This year was the first time that happened to me. In songs, in Scriptures, even in Pinterest!
I’m releasing the grasp of my fingers from the branch that holds me just above His arms. And as the year progresses, my prayer is that my fingers will gradually slip off the branch and I will be completely in His arms. My heart fully given to Him.
From My Heart to Yours,