Year of Abundance

The year of abundance all started with wanting to feel His presence more than I had been. I knew from 2017 that He is an ever present Shepherd continually caring to my needs and preparing the way. So, it was a simple prayer: Lord, let me see you.

In the smallest ways I wanted to see Him show up. And He did.

In laughter with my husband. In heartfelt conversations with my son. In the timeliness of decisions at work. In the women who showed up for bible study week after week with great eagerness to know Him more. I felt my heart and mind being transformed little by little as He began to answer this prayer.

But I didn’t want to just see Him more, I wanted to understand His movements in a new way. It’s no small thing to ask the Creator of the universe, the Great Almighty, I Am, to see what He sees, feel what He feels, to understand His view of this abundant life more.

Abundance was my word of the year, the focus of my days. Jesus’ abandoned life for my abundant life. But what really did this mean for me specifically? With a holy fear I brought this petition before Him believing He’d be gentle in His response. That’s how a Shepherd tends to His sheep, with gentleness and intention. I was ready to discern and walk in this answer with Him.

From the Desk of a Seemingly Silent Writer

Guilt covered my heart as I came back to this place to process what God’s done this year. With one click the browser opens. Another click, the drafts tab opens. It’s all a reminder God told me to get back to writing, yet the year is almost done and the page refreshes with only a couple half-hearted published posts and some wholehearted unpublished posts.

There’s this flip-side that comes along with the gift of writing. I’ve heard it echoed by other writers the more I’ve leaned in to really listen this year. With the gift of words comes a surrendering of ourselves to others. In the context of a believer, we ask words to come from the Father and that He’d direct them as needed. And as sweet a communion as this may be, it means writers are often asked to share some of their most intimate moments with the Lord, the messiest parts of their hearts, all while trusting it’s for their good and His glory. 

In the still of my office I can’t help but ask God to show me what He did through my writing this year.

Learning to Lead

God told me this year would be different. I could feel it in my bones in January. He was clear: leadership would change and I’d need my gaze up to change with Him.

Even still, I couldn’t imagine what He’d do in this arena over the next 342 days.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21

The way He moved so faithfully and kindly would ingrain these words from Paul into my heart for all time. I couldn’t imagine how God intended to move, but I knew it’d start with my own understanding of leading.

February brought the first instance of hearing a sermon that’s message was: 
Start where you are. 
Use what you have.
Do what you can.
Trust Jesus as the multiplier. 

This was the first of three times this message would be preached over me this year. In the ebb and flow of this ministry year, God knew I’d need to be reminded over and over it’s not my striving but my surrender He needs most. 

You see, the call to women’s ministry is one I still didn’t quite get. Why would God call up a woman who struggles with female friendships to lead the women of her church family? As such, I’ve been hesitant to claim myself as the women’s ministry leader. For several seasons I got away with the excuse I didn’t want to step on toes of teammates. We’d finally found our rhythm after a season of stumbling as a team. Surely God wouldn’t want me to throw a wrench in this gift of new rhythm. Right?

I’m thinking wrong. 

By October God stripped me of my team. Every last one of them. Might I add: they stepped aside for all the right reasons, too. He gave me no option in the matter. There I was. The last woman standing. And so it was: I was - am - the women’s ministry leader.