Two years ago, I was in need of some life giving friendships, a church family, and surrendering my control. A year ago I wrote a piece celebrating the life change I had seen as I finally surrendered my plans to the Lord. You can find it here. I thought it was good and I was pleased with the lessons the Lord had taught me.
Two years later I’m amazed at how the Lord has worked in my life. A year later I’m in awe of the lessons the Lord has used to remind me that I’m not done growing. You see, in the last year I found out that part of my brain is too big, I stepped up to some unknown challenges and conquered them, I stepped into new leadership roles that I greatly enjoy. In the last year I think the biggest lesson I’ve learned is to stop fearing the plans the Lord has for me. Don’t fear the unknown for it gets us nowhere. Fear the Lord for He holds the plans and the future.
See, last year I was learning how to trust and settle into relationships. This year I’m learning to enjoy them. That friendship is a challenging investment with invaluable rewards. I’m learning that its better to ask someone than stay silent. I’m learning to see people in their flaws, love them, and point them to the truth. I’m learning that people are worth the investment. That people care less about what you bring to the table of friendship and more about how long you stay there at the table. I’m learning to take the extra mature step when it comes to loving difficult people. I’m also learning to stop calling people difficult. Ministry happens in the most informal of settings. Discernment is a gift that must be nurtured. Peace is worth far more than I imagined. I’m learning that showing up in kids lives is more important than any object lesson. That consistency is the hard, but necessary thing. That vision for the long haul makes the present things more successful. I’m learning to watch my words. That a sincere apology makes you a good leader and team member.
To sum it all up. . I’m learning. I wouldn’t say I’ve learned it or that I’m an expert, but I’m learning. I’m learning how selfish and prideful I am. I’m learning how quick to speak and quick to anger I am truly. I’m learning I get it wrong a lot, and I speak unfiltered. I’m learning that the plans I have must sit on my palms with my fingers spread wide. They may be altered or removed altogether by the Lord. I’m learning my security is not in who I am or the things I’ve done. It is not in my age or my ability because all of that could change in an instant, but I believe that Jesus could still use me. The message of the gospel doesn’t change, but the messenger remains moldable forever.
My prayer recently has been for the Lord to guard over my mouth. That I may watch my words and speak only life when my mouth is open. Its a process that means my desire to speak for the sake of a joke, a sarcastic remark, a fiery opinion must die. A sacrifice of self so my life may be given to life.
2 years later and I’m still learning a whole awful lot. I see who I was two years ago and its like looking at the shell of who I am today. 2 years ago I felt empty, lacking joy, reeling in self-doubt, hate, and hurt. I felt like a glass with no more than a drop of water inside. Now, I’m filling up. Filling up of good water that never runs out. Filling up with life and God’s purpose. Being poured into and poured out in equal, peaceful rhythms.
2 years. I’m learning.