It caught me off guard, really, this skipping over the days and the weeks and the months, to consider how I wanted the new year to end.
But I did consider the end, right at the beginning, of the beginning.
And it felt good and right and so much like a start to something new.
I’ve been stuck in my head for days now, thinking through the days that will fill this year and thinking through the days that filled last year. I’ve spent some time re-reading my words from early last year and tracing the scarlet thread of Jesus through my small life. I’ve wandered back through a year’s worth of lamenting and remembered how I moved through those days simply doing the next thing because I had no idea where I was going or how I was going to get there. I was walking blind and living restless and fumbling my way through minutes that added up to days, chasing after God and whatever He was about here.
For nine months, I chased after God and I couldn’t see Him or anything that He was about.
So I did the next thing and I quit all the doing.
And God showed up in my simply being.
He began to show me my unique design, how He’d formed my innermost parts, how He longed for me to live fully alive in Christ and fully awake in my passion, making much of Him along the way. He showed me His yoke is easy and His burden is light and that there is much JOY to be experienced in letting the Christ in me come out.
He also began to show me that if I lived in my passion, if I became fully alive in Christ, that I would begin to see His heart for my people and my place and that I would be able to come alongside Him in what He was about here. I could cease the endless chasing and striving to do more and begin to do less and be more.
As I began to embrace my passion, something began to shift inside of me.
The restlessness that had been eating away at my soul was suddenly gone and in its place was immense joy and a new purpose.
And I could see God making a way for me to live differently here.
This morning, I wake really feeling the faithfulness of God. I feel it deep down in my bones, in a way that I did not feel it last January.
I am no longer walking blind. I am walking with eyes wide open, anticipating how God is going to string my days together.
I am no longer looking at a canvas of time, seeing meaningless busyness and mind numbing to-do lists. I am looking at a canvas of possibility, seeing flashes of color. And I long to wade into the color.
I am no longer in a state of restlessness, trying to add up my own days to make my one life count. I am coming alive to how God has uniquely made me and then moving out into my place and serving my people.
And I am praying that I will make much of Jesus along the way.
I no longer fear the unknowns of this life following Christ.
I am embracing it with wild excitement, my eyes centered on the end:
A life fully awake to my passions and fully alive in Christ, lived out wholeheartedly where I am.
Today, I hope my words land on a soft, tender spot in your heart. I hope they meet you in the center of your struggle for a life lived fully alive in Christ. I hope they spur you on to find out how God has uniquely made you. And I hope you decide to stop chasing after God and make strides to simply be in Christ. Give Him space to come alive in you and then give yourself time to really feel the pulse of your heart to see where your passions lie.
To help you discover the life you are meant to live and to help you embrace that life and live in such a way that you make much of Jesus, I am giving away an autographed copy of Emily Freeman’s book A Million Little Ways and one copy of Jennie Allen’s book Restless to one lucky reader. To enter, leave your wildest dream in the comments. Winners will be announced on Monday, Jan. 13.
And if you are local and would like to delve into figuring out how to live your one life well, I invite you to attend our Rocky Mount IF:Gathering in February. I will be hosting a book study for the book Restless in the weeks following IF and I would love to help you find where your heart beats and then see you live fully alive in Christ. Please consider attending- it’s free and guaranteed to be life changing for you and our city. You can join our Facebook group to stay in the loop here.