A couple of years ago, I started noticing that years were marked by specific themes in my life. For example, 2010 was the Year of Abundance. 2011 became the Year of Stretching [my faith].
Sometimes God mentions to me what the coming year will be. Other times, I pick up on patterns or themes that He repeats in my life.
With all my struggles in 2012, I’ve been wondering what this year will become.
Early on, I thought it would be the Year of Favor, but so far (and very sadly, I might add) that word just hasn’t stuck.
Perhaps it will be the Year of Perseverance or the Year of Patience. But how can those words define a year when I’m in denial that they even exist in the English language? I mean, just looking at those words makes me tired.
Then, there is the Year of Brokenness. That sounds like a winner. Doesn’t it? I guess that’s the risk you take when doing back-to-back Bible studies about shattering idols (No Other Gods) and broken hearts (Nehemiah). Thanks, Kelly Minter.
The Year of Frustration is also in the running mainly because it pretty much sums up the last 150 days (give or take a few).
And then it came to me unexpectedly the other night.
My thoughts were holding me captive as I lay in bed waiting for sleep to find me. My house is up for sale and has been for a few weeks now. I pondered in the darkness and stillness how one person could do nine years of house maintenance in just under a month. Partially proud of myself for such efficiency, and partially ashamed at my procrastination, I thought about all the work that had been done to get my sweet, cozy, little townhouse ready for her next owner. Whomever that might be.
For weeks my weekends and evenings were consumed by…
Packing up memories and knick-knacks.
Trashing the unnecessary or the obsolete.
Temporarily relocating the functional but nonessential.
Repairing, replacing or repainting minor imperfections.
Removing weeds and re-planting.
Of course, I didn’t do all these things myself. Some friends helped me lift the heavy stuff, and professionals came in to take care of the things I didn’t have the resources or know-how to do. But it was hard work none-the-less.
And that’s when it hit me: What I had been doing to my physical surroundings, God is doing in my life.
He’s packing up memories and knick-knacks that no longer need to be hanging around my heart. He’s trashing the unnecessary and obsolete thoughts that have developed over the decades. He’s relocating things that – although, they are functional – are not essential to my walk with Him. He is slowly repairing the dents and dings that have left scars on my heart, and He’s pulling up the weeds that are choking the seeds He’s planted in my soul.
And I’m not gonna lie. This year of transition and preparation is painful. But I put my hope in knowing the tears that I’ve shed as He removes, remodels and restores me are not tears that are shed in vain. They are the tears watering the soil He is tilling so that it will yield – not just a little fruit – but a harvest.
…Let us live in awe of the Lord our God,
for he gives us rain each spring and fall,
assuring us of a harvest when the time is right. (Jer. 5:24)