January came and went and a quiet start was God’s plan for this new year. As I sat recovering from pneumonia and with lots of time to think and put the coming year before God, I felt a deeper call to be quiet. I began to understand He had started the year in this way on purpose. I mean of course He had, He has a purpose and a plan for everything but once again it all came together. He had been preparing my husband and I for changes throughout 2016 but we were not sure where He was going or what He wanted us to do. We just faithfully listened and kept moving forward.
God is always stunning and amazing to me when I let go and put my life in His hands. In 2016 we had a record year of travel it was amazing and wonderful to connect with so many family members and friends and to see many beautiful places. I could feel life making great shifts and I vacillated throughout the year between scared and excited but mostly excited. We were on a new path with significant change. My adult children were pursuing new directions and hearing God in their own lives,that in itself was exciting to watch. God was doing things with my husband and his career and his view of it. He was changing where I put my focus and what I pursued day-to-day as I moved forward. I think throughout the year we would stop and go “Huh, where is God going with all of this.” As I reflect in writing this I see each of us saying to the other throughout the year “Just do what is in front of you today, you don’t know where God is going with this but He loves you and has a plan.” Even that in itself is amazing and one of the reasons I know God had me start writing this blog. He reveals new things to me each time I write. He always has through writing this is just a new dimension. Now as 2017 opens and new horizons appear before us I don’t feel scared but the fact that big changes are actually before us makes me pause and take a breath.
I have spent so much time of my life fearing what was coming and how I would handle it. I would try to look at all the scenarios I would possibly face and in some way try to prepare for them mentally or by the way I handled my life. In different ways throughout the years God has been trying to get me to loosen my grasp on this way of doing things. Often I would find my mind thinking on some disaster that might occur,this way of thinking came to me early in life. Throughout my life there were these huge ,somewhat out of nowhere, events that would happen changing my life diametrically and in some ways not for the better for a time. This left me always trying to prep and avoid the unexpected. The thing I learned over the years is life does not happen in the way you prepare for it. While you are looking over here something pops over there. In little steps God held my hand as I walked this road and tried to navigate all these twists and turns on my own.
Looking back I can see Him asking me to follow Him let Him take the lead. It is funny to think of the times I did and the times I didn’t and the differences of where I ended up each time. Having my 7 kids was one of those following moments transitioning from teens to adults was one of the times I took my own path. I have the results of both displayed before me one has beautiful and amazing results despite the inherent difficulties throughout the years and the other was fraught with confusion and heartache. As I came out of this and surrender myself to following Him again the paths before me began to open up but my instinct to plan and protect myself hung on.
God is so amazingly faithful despite all the little dances we do to orchestrate our own life. So as I sat healing and being quiet learning on a deeper level to take one day at a time,news came. Here is where we can miss His provision. I am thankful I have not been fighting with Him about being incapacitated with this illness. I am thankful I have been sitting quietly as He asked and waiting on Him. In this valley a new vista opened up and word came down that after 28 years with his company and moving with many, many changes over the years,permanent changes were in the works. The company was selling his division. It is unheard of to be with a company almost 30 years these days but it has been such a gift from God as we raised the 7 gifts. There was so much God had been showing us throughout 2016 preparing us for this change without saying exactly what it would be. There are so many options before us now as we look at the changes but we both feel ready and understand God has been preparing us and He has a plan.
So now as we look at 2017 the path looks very different and the quietness makes sense. We will not be proceeding from where we were in 2016 but on a whole new road. We will have huge decisions to make as career and life take a new turn. As things we have done for almost 30 years associated with one large company changes. On one hand I want to close my eyes and I don’t want anything to change; as much I have been craving change now that it is here I feel a bit daunted my how many areas of our life this will affect. This is not just a job change at this point and at this stage of life. But this year of letting go and trusting God happened for a reason. Last year all year I could hear Him urging me trust me look at your heart you aren’t trusting me you are relying on your own abilities. Little by little in His sweet gentle way He has led me along and now we stand here looking out at a new horizon and I want to follow. I don’t want to take control and try to guide this. I have done that too much in life and as I look back I am firm in my understanding that, that way does not work. I am clear that the worlds way of doing it ,experience it yourself, you have to go through these things to know, is the lie that started with Eve. For the moment and I hope forever I am done with that path; I have seen and experienced the difference of trusting Him and there is no comparison. Each holds difficulty and struggle but one has joy and strength and amazing gifts attached and the other has just heartaches and confusion.
A month and a half has flown by in our journey through 2017. I am thankful for the quiet brought on by illness. Thank you Jesus for the time to reflect. Thank you for all the change and thank you that we can look to You in the face of it all.