In expectation of each new year, I spend some time in prayer for the upcoming one. Asking God what He has for me and for us, as a family. I always seem to wrap it up with a word, or a few, He has laid on my heart. Kind of a theme for the year. I have a word for 2016, but we’ll get to that later. I need to give you some backstory.
In 2015, my word was SURRENDER. Can I just say, I was not excited. I was not excited!!! I dreaded this word. I knew that it came with some hard lessons and a lot of growing pains. Mainly, I was afraid. Here’s the thing… Times of fear should be times of prayer. Whatever causes fear, should drive us to our knees.
I spent a lot of time in prayer last year and, through it, The Lord really broke my heart for the things that break His. Some of the hard places in me were revealed and He tore down walls. He called me to trust in Him and His plan. Completely. Even, and mostly, when I sounded (and felt) like a fool. He showed me His will and then said, “but you’re gonna have to WAIT.” (This is another word I dread.) I am no good at waiting. I am a fixer and a doer. So, I did all I could do. I prayed more and dug into the Word.
I found myself relating so much to the biblical stories of old. To Abraham, Moses, Jacob, David and Nehemiah. There was a common thread in each of their stories that I began to see. They were great examples of what prayer in the waiting and fear should look like. The best we can say to God, is to claim the very things He has said to us. David sets a great example in Psalm 27. They each remembered and claimed the truths that the Lord had already spoken to them. Clinging to these things is exactly where they ended up finding safety. Too often, I forget to remember.
I began making a pointed effort to recall truth. Kelly Minter said in her study “Nehemiah” that “If you do it right, remembrance is like compounding interest for your faith.” Every time I felt fear creeping in, I made clear my fears and distresses and focused on a truth that God has given me somewhere along my journey. Throughout the year, I found myself so thankful for all of God’s undeserved favor. Ultimately I know how undeserving I am. It didn’t give me all the answers and I still wrestled with God. But, just as Jacob did, I walked away from it feeling Broken yet Blessed.
Quite often, God answers prayers by teaching us to order correctly our affairs. Surrender still isn’t easy. I am to this day very much wrestling in some ways. And I can’t even say I have done it gracefully. But I feel so blessed in it. I have realized over time, that I was planting tiny seeds of truth that were beginning to take root and grow. They have become my pillar of stones. These truths have helped me to have peace and embrace with joy the next thing God has for me no matter what it looks like. Even, and mostly, when it calls for sacrifice and surrender. The very blooms are joy itself. Psalm 27 says that if we hide in the shelter of His sacred tent, our heads will be lifted and then will we sacrifice with shouts of joy and sing praises to The Lord. Which brings us to my theme for 2016… Surrender with Joy.
I want to share these truths with you in hope that you will find the same joy, however your current journey looks. You can get my “Surrender with Joy” FREE PRINTABLE DOWNLOAD by clicking on the image above. You can grab the rest in my Etsy shop.They are professional quality prints available in an assortment of sizes that you can store up in your heart (or your pocket, or your purse, or a frame). Or, you can pass them onto a friend in need of truth. I pray they will take root and bloom.