2016. Are we really here? Today is the first day in 2016 that I have been able to slow down enough to simply sit. and DANG, it feels good. Watched a few Mindy Project episodes and was able to paint and draw – I mean, what. a. day. And now, on to my blog. As always, I like to kick each year off with a little reflecting (just like Mulan). I don’t feel right about moving on to the next year without fully knowing & appreciating the year I am leaving behind.
Usually when I try and remember the past year, I look through my calendar to see what I did & I read through my prayer journal to see what I was thinking. I would advise everyone to do this – it is fun to relive the awesome adventures you have with friends and encouraging to see the quiet mornings I spent in the word. As I just went through this routine, there seemed to be an obvious one word theme that swept across my entire year: brokenness.
Before I dive into this more, I want to be very clear that I have had a GREAT year. The Lord has blessed me thoroughly and I have so so many good things to be thankful for. (Mom, this is for you). However just as so many others experience, there can be so much good around you, and yet brokenness still present. In 2015, I was broken, over and over again. And for 2016 – I am still broken, but I am excited. I see a new word on the horizon and I can’t wait to learn through it. But before we get there, I want to share with you what God has taught me through brokenness.
My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise. Psalm 51:17
In brokenness, God teaches you a lot about yourself – and even more about Him. A few years ago I started praying a scary prayer – “God, reveal my sin to me. Show me exactly what keeps me away from you.” And low and behold, 2015 he laid it on me. I have been wrecked over the amounts of sin that have been made so clear to me. But gosh, stepping back from it, all I see is God’s mighty hand preparing me for whatever is next. Brokenness is a season we all need. It refines and strengthens us. It makes us desperate causing us to cling to the only Constant in our life. Through my brokenness, God has shown me many things. However, these three below have been made more clear than ever.
1. I was ready to be broken.
That sentence gives me joy. You know why? Because God knew I could handle it. He opened my eyes so I could fully recognize my sin. He was faithful in growing and challenging me. And that makes all the brokenness worth it.
2. My identity is in Christ. The. End.
Earlier in the year, I wrote a blog post on identity. If you didn’t read it, basically I thought I had figured myself out long ago until everything I found my identity in shattered leaving me very confused, and slightly angry. Well *light bulb on*, turns out Jesus had something to say about this. It seems most things I put my identity in were selfish, untrue, and unholy. Jesus broke me on purpose. He wanted me to realize that my identity is not based on superficial things that do not matter. It’s not based on how I view myself or how I believe others view me. It’s not based on what I wear, who I am with or that I am single. And it’s not based on my job, my family or my church. It’s based on Christ. And who He perfectly formed and created me to be. He is over and over again showing me that my identity and confidence comes from Him.
For you have died, and your life is now hidden in Christ. Colossians 3:3
3. My sin is great, but OUR GOD is GREATER.
My sin is great. So abundant, that God allowed it to finally break me completely. This is how it went down – He opened my eyes, a sin dump-truck unloaded ALL of its rubble on me, and I sat (and sometimes still sit) unmovable. Or even worse, I try to fix it. He allowed my sin to break me. This is what my eyes have seen: I am selfish. I seek my approval in others. I create false realities in my head and base decisions off of them. I am quick to judge. I throw self pity parties. I serve others wanting and seeking approval afterwards. My desire to please people is rooted in wanting to be loved and does not glorify the Lord. I hold on to guilt. I hold on to control. I hold on to fear. These are all just gross. And I share these with you because if you have been there or currently are there, I am and have been there too. Our sin is great. God knows this. He sent his perfect son because of this reality. But here is the good news – God is greater. God will never change. Our sin is finished. Jesus paid for it with his blood. We can come before the Lord knowing he loves us despite who we truly are. He sees us CLEAN.
For I am the Lord; I change not. Malachi 3:6
No one whose hope is in your will ever be put to shame. Psalm 25:3
I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more. Isaiah 43:25
Rejoice not over me, O my enemy;
when I fall, I shall rise;
when I sit in darkness,
the Lord will be a light to me.
I will bear the indignation of the Lord
because I have sinned against him,
until he pleads my cause
and executes judgment for me.
He will bring me out to the light;
I shall look upon his vindication.
Then my enemy will see,
and shame will cover her who said to me,
“Where is the Lord your God?”
My eyes will look upon her;
now she will be trampled down
like the mire of the streets. Micah 7:8-10
Right now, I am excited. I am excited because 2015 may have been brokenness, but God has given me a new theme for 2016.
He has taken me through this season of brokenness because I needed to know what must be left behind. I needed to know that He is the only thing I need to move forward. He has given me two words for this year – Release and Be. To RELEASE all control and perceptions and guilt and fear and boldly BE who God created me to be, every. single. day.
I am excited to learn. And I can’t wait to see God’s faithfulness all over again when 2017 rings in. Until that great day..