I can not believe we are in October & that in just a few weeks, we will be saying goodbye to 2016 and hello to 2017. I know, I know, I might be getting ahead of myself (as I often do) but these days, time seems to be flying by. Doesn’t it?
As I rang in the new year last year, I had BIG dreams and high hopes of what 2016 was going to be like. I thought it was going to be a year filled with miracles, blessings and answered prayers-a year to remember!
In August of last year, we declared that for our church, 2016 was going to be a year of UNUSUAL things. This idea/declaration comes from the scripture in Luke Chapter 5 “Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, “We have seen UNUSUAL things today.” Other tranations for unusual was remarkable, strange, wonderful. We didn’t just pick a scripture and go with it, we really believed that it was the year God had for us. So, we made shirts with a picture of an alligator in a suit (as unusual as it gets right there) and cheerfully declared a year of unusual things.
For our teaching year, we began a theme “BEST YEAR EVER.” I think by now you’re getting where I’m going. We had expectations, not wishful thoughts, but real, resolute convictions that this was going to be a year unlike any other year. We prayed audaciously, believed and sat at the edge of our seats waiting for God to move.
And He did.
The last 11 months have been as unusual as an alligator in a suit.
Every month seemed to get harder and harder. We know that hard times come, we also know that God allows hard times to develop us, strengthen us and prepare us. We knew God was shaking things up and that it was for our good, but it was painful. Pruning is painful process…. For the first time I was feeling “burn out” and never before had I even thought that was a real thing (not for the strong, anyway! Lol) we experienced loss, experienced tragedy and heartbreak. It was obvious that something new was on the horizon. At first we were excited, recognizing a familiar pattern we had experienced before. I wasn’t worried about those things, but I wasn’t trusting God with the process.
Little by little my frustration turned into a disappointment with God and it began to dim my light a little at a time. I was so low, felt hopeless and just wanted to quit. I had questions, real questions. I had doubts, I had complaints! I lacked passion, energy and felt like I was living in a cloud. I wanted to quit but knew I couldn’t so that made me angry. I knew I needed a breakthrough.. I knew how to get it, but was too tired, too beat up, I was over it.
Then, right smack in the middle of a 32 year old tantrum I experienced a moment that changed everything. It was my blog moment. I felt the spirit of God tell me, “SARAH, YOUR prayers got you into this mess. You want to see me move in your church, your city, you want increase, you want me to heal this land, well… This how I can accomplish that!” My spirit was quickened and and I knew that He was right. ( of course)
I was seeing this situation from the wrong perspective. The very thing I was believing God for, my prayers that I circled day after day were being answered! I created this mess. But instead of being expectant and unmoved, I was walking around as though I was defeated. The enemy used the very thing God positioned me for, against me.
So, moment by moment I began to refresh my soul and allow worship to resurrect what was dead and to burry what was no more. I am so thankful for worship music, it saved me in this season! It cried out for me when I had no voice and it reminded my spirit who I am and who’s I am! It reminded me that what He has promised He will accomplish!
I experienced breakthrough.
This breakthrough didn’t leave me the same. I left this season of pruning, resistance and turbulence with something! I left with a renewed understanding of God’s love, His plan for my life and for His unrelentless pursuit for my heart. I left with a stronger passion and desire to reach people far from Jesus. I am more alert, more present, more ready.
Ready for the wonderful, incredible part of this unusual declaration. I’m ready for the best year, ever. We’ve already began to see it, to experience it. Even though time seems to be flying by and that the end of this year seems to be around the corner, it’s not over, yet.
Are you standing in the middle of a mess? Are you standing right in the middle of your prayers? Don’t fall for the trap of thinking God has left you, that it’s over…. It’s not!
How has this year been for you? What are you believing for as we finish this year?