Thirty has been a fruitful year for me. I still have a little under three months left in this age, but bushels of goodness have been yielded thus far.

To be honest, I spent quite a bit of time in the first half of 2020 fixating on financial pressures that have yet to be alleviated {partially due to my own disordered priorities}.

Thankfully, Papa {God} has opened my eyes to all of the lush fruit in my life . . . for one thing the sweet sincerity with which I have come to know Him this way. Sometimes I overthink referring to God as Papa because I don’t want it to be confusing or distracting, but on the other hand it feels duplicitous to change up in public, ha. Like asking your parent to wait around the corner after school . . .

But Love, himself, has literally endured {and conquered} death, the agony of hell, and the grave to bring me into His family. I have become the daughter God delights in and King Jesus is not ashamed to call me his brethren {John 1:12, Hebrews 2:11} . . . so I will call God ‘Papa’ on my smörgåsblog on occasion just the same as I do in my living room.

And my living room has been so full of fruit . . . new songs written and waiting songs finished . . . refreshing conversations with close friends and faraway family . . . and grateful recipients of solicited advice on the reddit relationship sub. ha.

Plus, the peace. So much peace and joy. And delight in His presence. Genuine hope and good expectation despite all the screaming reasons to despair. Words from scriptures that I have meditated on for months and years have woven themselves into melodies and manifested as healing in my body {Proverbs 4:22}. Papa be praised.

I share all this not to boast myself off as some elite superchristian, but because it’s available to everyone . . . and years like this one are a great opportunity for people who haven’t needed miracles like the ones I’ve needed to recognize that God is their answer. When you are broke and not well connected {ha} you come to the end of yourself a lot sooner than people who are blessed with financial “security” and stable families. Financial and familial stability are good things that God wants us to experience, but we have to learn to put our hope in Him. Given the lingering curse-fumes covering the planet, we will all be faced with opportunities to exercise faith and develop endurance. So we should take those opportunities and count them all joy {James 1}.

As I was thinking about the fruit I’ve seen in my life this year – the inside and “behind the scenes” prosperity – I was reminded of the intense pruning that took place a year ago . . . last summer was a rough one.

There were some fun moments, like introducing my cousin to the ocean, church growth group gatherings, and cute new clothes; but there was also a ton of spiritual warfare, awkward interactions, and heartache. Also, I was dating this guy and it was really stretching me.

I don’t think I ever told him this, but I actually vetoed his profile because he was wearing a suit and had listed the art museum as his ideal first date . . . thumbs down, swipe left. ha. But then he started chatting me, and I felt like I should ‘give him a chance’ as they say. In so doing, I was confronted with a summer’s worth of insecurity and attachment issues that I had no idea were so crippling. While I had recognized that I was a “chaser” and needed to chill, I hadn’t realized just how pathological my chasing had become {or probably always was}.

I really struggled with being pursued because it meant that I wasn’t in control. As long as I was choosing {and chasing}, I had what I perceived to be “the advantage.” I had seen and evaluated them first, and I was in control of how our interactions played out. I was in control of how much of my actual self I disclosed. Being on the other side of pursuit usually means they have seen you with your guard down. That used to be a ‘yikes’ to me.

Long story short, we made all the sense in the world on paper and profiles, and enjoyed each other’s company and conversation, but he decided I needed someone better than him and we broke up at Chick-Fil-A on a Wednesday night during a thunderstorm . . . the classy life I lead. ha.

All that drama was sandwiched between me catching feelings for a couple of guys in my day to day life, and it was pretty exhausting on my heart. Especially because I genuinely was content with being single, but then I’d get all caught up and enamored with that person in particular. All of it was pruning and chances to retake the tests I kept failing in Patience, Closure, and Control.

But there’s fruit now and that is miraculous. Gentleness and temperance and an even deeper contentment than what I knew a year ago as I was wiping out in a three-wave hold-down of half – and non-existent relationships, and evaluating whether or not I have the gift of singleness. I legitimately found myself googling modern day convents because I’m that extra. I’m sure Papa gets a kick out of me sometimes . . .

Well, I didn’t intend to meander down that memoir; but I did have two thoughts I wanted to get to. The first is that cultivating intimacy with God is the single greatest investment of time that we could ever make. And the second is that cooperating with Him in the pruning process is more than worth the discomfort. He is faithful and kind and brilliant. I am mixing my metaphors here, but God is a far greater Artist, Sculptor, and Storyteller than we presently have the capacity to appreciate. So trust Him. Take pleasure in the process of learning to walk by faith.

. . . & &

2 responses to “a good year”

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