A few days ago, Clay and I moved from Southern California to Northwest Nevada. Never would I have imagined leaving the place I called home for the last twenty one years. And yet, here we are- a massive change for sure but one covered with so much peace. so much goodness. A lot of that is because I am married to a man who is a wonderful listening ear and so incredibly supportive (as well as adventurous which always makes things more exciting). But even more so, I know the smooth transition has been made possible because we have a caring, empathetic, compassionate Heavenly Father who knows our needs and our fears and desires to meet and soothe them.
So here we are. A brand new year. A brand new state. A brand new home. The moments of fear in the form of "what if's" are sparse but do rear their heads here and there. But the peace is deep. The trust in Christ grounding.
Starting mid-2022, Isaiah 43:18-19 has continuously been highlighted to me:
"Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland." (NIV)
As a person who revels in the sentimental and nostalgic, it can be easy for me to get tangled up in the past. But, with the sweet moments of what used to be also comes the more painful realizations of what I could have done better, or the words spoken over me, or the words I've spoken over myself, or things that I have allowed to identify my worth and who I am.
But as I have practiced releasing my past, choosing to walk away from the things that have once ensnared me and to live out my identity as Beloved, I have been able to experience a deepened joy of partnering with God and seeing all that He is doing. It's as if my old scratched up, blurry glasses have been traded in for brand new squeaky clean ones. A trade-in of the old, battered point of view for a new, heightened awareness of the ways in which He is making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. A way when it seems like there is no way; possibilities in the spaces where you could only dream of them. The ways He is bringing life, freedom, refreshment, joy, strength not only to my life but the lives of others near and far. I feel this when I think about this next season in Nevada; a feeling of excitement and anticipation bubbling up within me as I think about what God is about to do and already doing.
We have a God who is far more for us than we could ever possibly even try to fathom. It is easy and natural to think otherwise when things don't go the way we want them to or think they should... But while we see through a micro-to-the-nth-degree perspective, our Heavenly Father sees it ALL. From all angles. all sides. outside of the limitations of time and space.
I was reading through the last couple of chapters of Luke today and came across this:
"As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. But they urged him strongly, 'Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.' So he went in to stay with them." Luke 24:28-29 (NIV)
Jesus agrees to stay with them because they invited Him. There's a saying that Jesus is a gentleman. He waits for our invitation. He does not bombard into our hearts like a dictator or a micromanaging boss. He is not threatening or pushy or forceful or in a rush. Rather, He is patient. He is kind. And He waits for the invitation into your heart.
To end, my encouragement for you (and for myself) is to look forward, towards the New. But also, to look to God. Through the good and the bad, the praises and the cries. To have your gaze fixated on Him and to trust what He says and has over your life.
If you've already invited him into your heart, keep inviting him. Pray and see if and where there are spaces in your heart that you have yet to invite him into. And if you haven't invited him and there is even a tiny part of you that is curious about what that would be like... what do you have to lose?
He loves you. He is so beyond for you.