“This year, there will be fire.”
I made this declaration to my best friend (my BBFFF, rather than my Gayle) about how I will greet 2019. Friends for nearly 15 years, it feels like we’ve always been part of one another’s lives. We celebrate the good, the bad, and the ugly, sharing our joys and bearing each other’s sorrows. She is mi familia, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I love the words of Zora Neale Hurston in Their Eyes Were Watching God,
There are years that ask questions and years that answer.
Several years ago, my bestie and I began to understand their meaning; it became the difference between New Year’s Eve and Old Year’s Night. When a New Year brings hope, it challenges us with the question, “what might we do if we believed we couldn’t fail?” On Old Year’s Night, we have answers. Each time the answer is the same,
“if it didn’t kill you, it is no longer yours to fear.”
We celebrate both with champagne, but Old Year’s Night is also accompanied by the blaze into which we toss our laments, written on scraps of paper, into the firepit. In 2018, up until the very last moment of the last day, so much that I held dear was under mortal threat.
Restoration is a brand-new way of seeing courage.
After years of shaking off notions about everything I thought I wanted or wanted to be, it felt like coming home. Stripped, shredded, powered down so that I could no longer trust God AND trust me, I was left trusting only God.
2018, F you.
You tried to destroy me and failed.
For all the questions you asked, these are my answers:
When I surrender my fear to my faith, I am stronger than any challenge.
When I concentrate on an All-Powerful God, what is there to fear?
Hiding under the Shadow of His Wing, I am invincible.
God makes with us a covenant of peace. It’s no longer about escaping the wilderness. Everywhere our feet fall, we are unmoved, grounded in safety.
Ezekiel 34:25-26 NIV~
I will make a covenant of peace with them and rid the land of savage beasts so that they may live in the wilderness and sleep in the forests in safety. I will make them and the places surrounding my hill a blessing. I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing.
Like every other year, I have not chosen a word. Mine ALWAYS chooses me.
According to one definition, the generic meaning of sanctification is “the state of proper functioning.” God stripped every distraction away from me in order to align me as intended.
I was created to be a Holy Bad Ass.
Until now, I was not adequately prepared to receive that mantle. I am now ready.
Now, I am more afraid of operating outside my divine gifts than conforming to anything I once believed mattered. Without animus, and I mean none at all, I simply do not care.
For all the years I thought the wilderness was my test, only my faith was being tested. In God, nothing is unsafe or insecure, in the wilderness, or anywhere else below Heaven. In God, there is solely beauty.
For so long, I’ve been focusing on the wrong things; the wilderness, not God.
I wasn’t ready to receive that before now. I am ready now.
I am finally more afraid of operating outside by gifts than conforming to any of the things I once thought mattered. Without animus, I mean none at all, I simply do not care.
As a wise mentor counseled me, “the wilderness strips the accolades given by the world. It makes us think that is who we are. But we are not that. We are the image of God in Christ. And the only accolades go back to God. It’s the beauty, in God’s Eyes, of being aligned with your gifts. That is sanctification.”
2019 is the year of my restoration to intended use as Designed by my Creator. Aligned with my gifts, attuned to hear and be led.