I sit here in my living room, my most favorite room in our home- very accurately where most of the magic happens-we are a few hours to the new year and I am finding a moment to write some words I have been pondering over all week. This year has been a year full, most years are, how they differ is mostly separated by circumstance and experience but what I have reflected on in the last week is how each year is actually quite the same. As we are guided and grown by a Father who remains the same from one day to the next, His love and His identity does not change from circumstance to experience rather His longing and vision for us remains steadfast in His longing for us to experience fullness and joy in him.
This year has been full of a reminder that I have not infact evolved much. I am much the same as I was the year before, my struggles and sin still get caught on the same nail and I am once again reminded over and over that I can not in fact do any of this on my own. This year has been the year of a reminder that there were in fact nails needed for my rescue, that my sin does cause pain and suffering but even so I am welcomed back in my confession to be received and restored, loved and washed clean. And with that cleansing hope I can move forward knowing that my God, my Jesus will not only rescue me but sustain me and when I need to be moved He has the ability and the strength to carry me. There is a verse in Isaiah 46 that says ; I will be your God throughout your lifetime-until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you. Essentially not only did He create us but He will carry us, He will sustain us in our weakness and He will rescue us.
This year I have needed this truth but knowing what I was given eyes for this year I know I will also need it in all of the years to come. I have caught myself on more than one occasion assuming my old ways, full in my flesh and comfortable in my sin claiming that these truths were made for those around me but surely not for me. My struggle to determine my own worthiness will forever be my downfall no matter how much knowledge I have in the gospel because my heart is easily swayed by my mind and the disconnect between the two quickly falters when I notice my flesh. I am most steady when my eyes remain on the cross and what He intended for me in it, when I focus on what He has said He would do and the gift of the Spirit He has left me with while I wait for His return.
This year I had times of great joy as I experienced the creation of His beauty as it surrounded me in deep and narrow canyons, mountains made of sand stacked high above me that allowed me to feel so small that I knew with complete wholeness that the only place I could truly rest was within the largeness and mighty power of His hand. I saw the ocean and marveled at the wonder of the waves and questioned the mixture of awe and fear that I feel when I am placed on it shores, I slept in the trees of the forest and felt the wind move the bed I slept on and knew that it was His hand that made the wind and Him who allows it to move me. I have experienced a full home and as a result of that a full heart as God continues to grow our heart for family outside of how the world sees it. I looked into the face of my children as they laughed and cried, I was given the gift of being able to cheer them on when they soared and was able to pull them close and remind them of what remains true in their disappointment. I too experienced disappointment in my health, in my marriage, in myself, in my longings in my hopes but each and every time He has met me, He has reminded me that I am not in fact alone and that even when I feel the farthest from Him He never once has removed His eyes from me. And in than knowledge I realize most of my disappointments can be translated into longing for Him and in that even further learned that great sorrow holds the deepest potential to experience the deepest of joys.
Us Jagers are far from perfect, but I believe that we are being further welcomed each day to experience further contentment in Him and as we allow Him to show us how that works and we simply ask for more, more of Him. I know that at the end of the day that is all we actually ever need.
I could sit here and write off all the great things we have done this year, I could tell you about how cute and brilliant our children are, I could tell you how handsome and wonderful and successful my husband is or how I love my family and being a wife and mother. But more than that I would love to tell you every time Brian and I pray together or reflect on our day to day we say, yep more off this, more of you Jesus our hands are open wide to not only receive but for you to remove what is unworthy, we are here and waiting and thankful and humbled. We are broken but not forgotten forever in need of chiseling but softened in the light of His eyes.
I walked into this past year knowing much of His grace but nothing of His mercy and I am walking into the next knowing that my life is a gift and there will never be anything I can do that would justify what I have been given. There is so much peace in knowing that for all of the years I spent trying to earn I can now simply grip onto His robe and fall flat on my face knowing that that is not a sign of my unworthiness but a sign off my belonging to a high king that did not come to destroy me but restore me.