I don’t always choose a word for my year.
I’m not very big on setting resolutions or getting too wrapped up in “New Year” goals.
But this year, God kind of whispered… declared loudly… a word for this new year.
2015 has been humbling. quieting. breaking. reaching the end of me.
2015 has been a deeply personal journey… that for some reason God keeps asking me to share with you.
Helping you see a different face, a very raw face, of full time career missions. of changing the name “missionary hero” by sharing the real life struggles we walk.
You are walking the journey with us in real time… not waiting a four year term to get the full scoop when we come home to visit your church. When after four years the realness has faded and only the good memories remain, you now experience the good and bad of real missionary life.
And as I mentioned, 2015 has been incredibly humbling… made even more so by openly sharing our experiences.
Life as we knew it has drastically changed.
Home has changed.
2016 brings completely new journeys as we try to settle into ministry here.
2016 brings a new word… in where the themes from 2015 will still greatly bleed into 2016… the new word brings hope in the mess.
2016 brings mending.
Mending of me.
Mending of my heart.
Mending of the brokenness this process has created.
The brokenness hasn’t been bad, painful… yes. but not bad. Each broken experience has drawn me closer to the God I love and deeper in my relationship with him. Each broken piece of me as been used for good… in ways I am believing in faith even if I can not see.
And, now God is going to continue to use the brokenness for good.
By mending the little pieces of me that right now feel greatly scattered.
Scattered from Ohio to France to West Africa.
Little pieces blown by the wind…
Little pieces floating through oceans…
Little pieces sitting quietly waiting for God to move.
I believe God will mend these things in 2016.
Mending me… mending, rebuilding, making it all closer to the picture He sees for me.
A song that helped whisper this word to me was City of Hope by Amanda Cook.
You are mending the broken-hearted
You are making all things new
And You’re rebuilding out of the ruins
A city of hope with the ones You love
And as I look back through my journal from the past few months, I see God preparing my heart for mending.
It feels like Job 38:1 which says, “Then, the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm.”
Because the storm hasn’t ended. I’m not through all the blank space. I’m still at the end of me.
But God is speaking and mending.
The same as when God spoke to Moses in Exodus 3… when the place Moses was standing was Holy Ground, when Moses felt fear, when God said he saw the misery of his people and he would bring them up out of it. When, in Exodus 4, God answered Moses’ concerns and then said, “Now go; I will help you and teach you…”
Knowing that God is mending, helping and teaching.
Bringing healing and rest and hope.
Gathering the scattered pieces and rebuilding out of the ruins.
Remembering how much I need God’s help… because I can’t rebuild on my own.
Willingly remaining in the process for whatever this mending means…
“Each heart must pass through the furnace for itself. To hear of the refining of others has no lasting effect on the heart’s own alloy.” – F. Barclay
This wilderness season, the mending season… this passing through the furnace is part of His growth process for me, for you.
Letting God mend in 2016, praising Him for the great things He has done and will do.
Do you have a word for 2016? What is God speaking in your heart, through your storm?