Ephesians 3:20 “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.”
The New Year is just around the corner. How do you feel about it? For me, I have mixed emotions that only can be described as anticipation. When I looked up the synonyms for anticipation the results were interesting: Expectation. Hope. Apprehension. Joy. Promise. Trust. I think for me 2017 will be the year of anticipation.
There are times when I am afraid that I will just have a repeat of this year for the New Year. Don’t get me wrong An Unexpected Detour turned into an incredible blessing of healing, change and closeness to Jesus but this year has been really difficult as original plans didn’t work out. When I get anxious Jesus reminds me that no two years are identical, like when I went to university. Although I completed one degree and lived in the same room on campus for three years, there were many differences, I experienced many new things. The New Year will have different challenges, different reasons to cry and laugh and grow.
A few months ago I journaled this:
I asked Jesus and also gave permission (as silly as that sounds!) to move and do things unexpectedly … I forgot that when I ask for the unexpected I need to actually look for the unexpected rather than the expected… Jesus reminded me He is working, I just need eyes to see as well as trust and patience; because when Jesus moves I just sit back in awe. God is good.
I am setting Jesus free of the box I had placed Him in where He is surrounded by instructions and demands. I am choosing not to plan too much for the coming year because a) I would honestly struggle with the disappointment and b) I want to leave Jesus room to surprise me (in a good way) as I am finally wanting to see what handing over the pen to Jesus looks like and to see what fun Jesus has as He continues to write our beautiful adventure in the freedom of the unexpected.
This doesn’t mean I don’t plan at all it just means for me that I don’t become so driven, so focused on my plans that I steam roll over Jesus and everything He means to me in every adventure. Instead I am trying to be in a place of realness and rawness as I share my heart with Jesus; the hopes, the dreams, the desires and even the things that scare me. And in this allow Jesus to share His heart and the beautiful plans He has for me that are more than I can even imagine. It is about learning to trust. Do you know how Jesus quietens my heart and gives me peace? He whispers six simple, but incredibly calming words “trust me I know your heart.” Jesus knows and understands how important my hopes, dreams and desires are to me but I need to trust Him to take care of them until the time is right for them to be realised.
I don’t know when the perfect time is for each but I know Jesus does and it is not too soon, not too late but just right. I don’t even know if all my hopes, dreams and desires will come true. When I was a little girl, into my teen years and sometimes even now I want to walk easily and without a frame, to be healed of Cerebral Palsy. Does Jesus hear my prayer? Yes. Does He understand my heartache? Yes. My friends Jesus always answers when you call, sometimes the answer is ‘yes’, sometimes the answer is ‘wait’ and sometimes the answer is ‘no’. I don’t know why He chooses the way He does but be assured God has a bigger plan in place. And then sometimes He answers in ways we least expect it. During my recovery of my last major surgery a haematoma was found on my spine with the potential to paralyse me; yet it didn’t. Though the setbacks kept coming from the nausea experienced from the strong pain killers to the thumb indent in the cast which created pressure making it very painful to stand. One day I had had enough I screamed at the top of my voice “I don’t want to walk anymore” A few years later I got the miracle I had always hoped for but not in the way I was expecting. You see there is a very high likelihood for kids with my type of CP to be fully wheelchair bound by the end of adolescence due to the rapid growth rate experienced during this time and the inability for the body to keep up. Well here I am today walking, not the way I thought I would but walking none the less. I am a living miracle. I dare you to look for the miracles in your own life to allow Jesus to do the unexpected.
As we approach the New Year see it as a gift, a chance to learn from our mistakes but also a chance to have expectation, hope, apprehension, joy, promise and trust. To unwrap a year of anticipation.