Closing 2015

December 31, 2015.

I’ve sat this morning, reading, facebooking, listening, watching, praying, resting, questioning.  All which is a wonderful way to begin the last day of this year. I don’t even know what to say about this year. I believe in many ways it was more difficult than 2014.  I spent 2014 numb, surviving, planning, packing, purging, surrounded by people trying to help.

2015 was filled with the pain. Feeling. Every. Damn. Ounce. Of. It.  Feeling it. Crying it. Screaming it. Praying it. Denying it. Living it. Praying GOD HEAL IT!!!  2015 was filled with so much more loss, accumulative, like complicated grief, all tangled together, building off of the previous, not even sure what feeling went with what loss. 

2015 will most be marked by change.  So much of it.  More than any other season of my life.  Stripping change that has left me simpler, truer, free-er, more protective and yet more adventurous… because what the heck… after all that’s been lost and felt… what do I have to loose at this point if I choose to live more rebellious and truer to God’s identity of who I am. To hell with what other people think they know about me!

On December 27th, 2013, I posted this quote:

"Becoming comfortable may be the greatest enemy of your life's dream, so decide what you're willing to risk and that will help determine your level of commitment." Phil Cooke

Little did I know just how comfortable I had become, just how much God would allow me to loose in order for the dreams of my heart that He had placed there (not the ones I had chosen in order to fulfill MY life’s plan) to be lived out. Little did I know that less than two months later all that comfort that was the enemy would be shattered to pieces.

Now here I am two years later, comfortable! But in a very new way. Comfortable in God’s care, provision, love, peace, grace, forgiveness, and ultimate reliance on only Him.

I enter into 2016, much farther down the healing path, with a lighter load of baggage to carry into the next frontier. I enter with a truer Self.

Yet. Yet. Yet I want to dream so badly and Yet… I am so scared to do so. Dreams get shattered. Praying God’s will for my life to shadow that of Jesus’ means that some of MY dreams get shattered.  And the pain of that… that pain that I’ve carried in 2015… I am so damn scared of feeling that again.  The tears roll even as I type that sentence.

So my prayer for myself this year is to dream again.  To allow God to overshadow me and birth dreams that are only of His creation. To silence the voice of fear.  A few days ago, I came across this blog by Pastor Joe Koy.  These words leapt off of the screen at me and all I could say was “yes Lord, please Lord…”

My new year’s wish for you: That you dream. Dream boldly. Dream audaciously. And let those dreams change you and the world around you in some ways this coming year. (See more at: https://sojo.net/articles/new-year-may-you-dream#sthash.YWhtyLKG.dpuf)

Koy goes on to remind us… me… that Jesus was a dreamer. Yes He was. And it certainly wasn’t easy and pain free for those dreams to be lived out.

So, back to this morning’s list of activities for this last day of 2015. I listen to scripture each day at dailyaudiobible.com.  Today was the final passages of the bible for this year. This verse in particular in the New Testament portion is what spoke to me today:

          Revelation 22:2b “and the leaves of the nations are for the healing of the nations.”

Leaves. Why the leaves? I thought of the leaves on the logo I designed for Grace Outrageous Ministry.  So much symbolism for me in that GO Tree.  And the leaves are hearts… hmmm…

So why the leaves as the healing? There’s the whole Tree of Life standing there. Why the leaves? So off to Google I went to study the purpose of leaves.  I read a lot of science ‘stuff’ (not my strong or favorite subject) and pondered the information on a spiritual level. 

-       they are filters – out with the harmful chemicals to the tree (which just so happen to be good for us humans) and in with what is needed for the tree to grow

-       they are thin and fragile yet without them, the tree would die.

-       They offer protection.

-       They absorb light

-       Thousands of shapes and sizes to fit into thousands of climates and purposes

-       They are the tree’s aqua duct (picturing the River of Life…)

-       Take in the light and yet provide shade from the light

-       Arranged on a stem in a particular pattern for that specific tree

-       They are regulators of what the tree needs

-       The cooling elements of the leaf help the tree to not overheat

-       And the list goes on…

There are definitely some parallels that I want to pray about. I have begun to see the healing element of the leaf’s purpose and now I’m left with an even stronger “hmmm… leaves healed the nations…” musing.  I believe God has given me the word “leaves” as a 2016 theme. Seems a little odd. But He once gave me ‘clouds’ and that turned out to be amazing, so I’m just going to go with it.

The final verses of my Bible scripture for today, as read on audiobible.com, amazingly contained the verse God gave me over a year ago that became my fight song, my anthem, to remind me of who I am through Christ Jesus:

“She is clothed with strength and dignity and laughs without fear at the future.” Proverbs 31:25

That is the truth of who I am. Not what another human may think I am… or am not. Now I don’t just read those words and say “that’s who I want to be”… but I now own those words!

And I ask Lord, do the final healing of the fear… let the science lessons of a leaf help me with that… let the truth of your closing words of Revelation provide the final healing balm my soul needs. Let YOUR DREAMS only be planted and come to life in the weeks and months ahead.

I close 2015 now with such a sweet deep gratitude to God my Father, Jesus my Savior, and the Holy Spirit my comforter and counselor, echoing the voice of the psalmist in Psalm 150 “Praise the Lord… let everything that has breath praise the LORD! Praise the Lord."

And I pray for all of you this prayer by Leonard Sweet:

My 2016 prayer for you:

God lead you.

God feed you.

God seed you.

God weed you. God speed you…  and… God exceed your greatest hope and dream.