I wasn’t planning on writing this post.
I’ve been laid down by the world’s most aggressive cold and on more Mucinex than a human should be. I’ve been working on a major website transition. I’ve been reading books and watching TV shows because doing anything that required more than me moving my head was impossible.
And, to be honest, today snuck up on me. It was sitting there, in my subconscious, warning me it was approaching. But this morning, when I woke up, I was just thankful to be breathing out of my right nostril. I wasn’t thinking about the fact that it was an anniversary of some sort.
But God bless Facebook for its lovely “Memories” feature. Without that, I might have remembered that I quit my job a year ago at about 10 o’clock tonight.
It hasn’t felt like a year since I walked away from a career and decided to strike out on my own. In some ways, it’s felt like seven years. In others, seven minutes. It sounds cliche to say that I couldn’t have imagined what a year on my own would bring, but it’s true. I couldn’t have, in my wildest dreams (which can be quite wild) conjured up a year like 2015.
However, I’m grateful Jesus can.
Quitting and going out on my own wasn’t easy. The process exposed so much about who I am, good and ugly. I never once wondered if I had made a mistake in trying something new. I was, however, unprepared for the waterfall of emotion waiting for me.
In the last year, I’ve learned that I can control my own chaos. Too often, that chaos comes because I’ve not acknowledged the Lord in my steps or not slowed down when I knew I needed to. I’m awful about the latter; Jesus is teaching me to ease into the former.
2015 showed me that I am much stronger than I realized and much weaker. I had to confront my emotions in a very intense way. Feelings that I had held onto had to be released. Dealt with. Confessed. Repented of. I knew if I didn’t deal with the deep well of emotion within me, I would never move forward into what God was calling me to do.
In His faithfulness, the Holy Spirit led me through this desert wasteland. He made the desert like Eden because Jesus met me there. He showed me things about His word and about who He is that I could only grasp and understand by walking through this time.
In twelve months I know so much more and so much less than I ever thought I did. When Paul writes that we know nothing as we should, it is the absolute truth. My narrow views of how Jesus works are in shreds. The box I neatly tucked Him in — blown up. The height and depth and breadth of the love of God is something I will never be able to comprehend. I am eternally grateful for the mystery of His person, the whole of which we will explore forever.
365 days ago, I hated routine. I ran from it. I bounced from thing to thing in search of new experiences. And while I still am not the biggest fan of routine, and nothing thrills me like new experiences, I am embracing routine. Sameness has been my great stabelizer by the grace of God. I didn’t know how much I needed to know what was coming the next day. Or how much I could crave a schedule that brought the same thing every day.
Don’t get me wrong, my job and my work at the church are always challenging me and surprising me. I learn something new all the time. But there is peace in knowing tomorrow, if the Lord wills, I’ll wake up. Go to church. Go home and work. Go back to church. Maybe I’ll have coffee with someone. The simplicity of life, the sheer uncomplicated nature of where I am is a blessing.
And not to rip off Rent, but in 525,600 minutes, I have been blessed by so many who have hired me to work with them and their teams. I am humbled by the amount of work on my plate. Time after time, Jesus has led me through and to so many wonderful people in His body who are doing incredible work. To those of you who contacted me, encouraged me, pushed me on, challenged me and prayed for me – you will never know what your support means to me.
And now I begin year two. The delight of this journey is that Jesus can truly do anything He wants to with my life. I am held to nothing but His will and leading for me. I have learned how sweet it is to trust in Jesus and to take Him at His word. And it is well with my soul.