At the beginning of this year, 2016, I did something I've never done before. I felt the need to get away from everything (which for me means my people) and intentionally spend time alone looking back over the past year and looking forward to the year ahead. As God continued to nudge (and I need lots of nudging) I packed a small bag, got in the car and drove two hours to a historic town and spent the night at a bed and breakfast where I had never stayed. The General Lewis Inn has been on my radar for a long, long time and let me tell you, I was NOT disappointed.
After checking in at the desk, I made my way down the hall to a cozy little room just right for one and unpacked my things. Dinner that night was delightful. The atmosphere at the cozy restaurant was just right, linen table cloths, candlelight, a perfect setting for a date night. My dinner companion for the evening sat quietly and listened intently as I confided my deepest desires and hopes for the coming year. He was the perfect gentleman, never interrupting, just listening and affirming his love for me by whispering to my heart that I did not look ridiculous to the other guests simply because I was dining alone.
I slept soundly in the double bed and woke early even without an alarm. I slipped down the hall to grab coffee and get myself situated for a little more conversation with the Spirit. I sat quietly in the floor, Bible opened, journal and pen at the ready and sipped coffee and prayed for guidance as I tried to discern direction for the coming year.
God had given me a word for the year, Believe. At first I struggled with the word itself because, "Believe" really God, I already believe, right? I've been following you for over 25 years and my word this year is "Believe"? I was absolutely convinced of the word, but had no idea what I was supposed to believe. Was I simply to believe God's promises? Was my word for this year that general and vague?
As I began to wrestle through all the thoughts and desires of my heart, the dreams and visions for the coming year, the fear and doubt that seem to forever be a part of my cognitive musings, God revealed to me a more specific part of the word Believe. As I opened my journal and began to scratch out the word in gold ink with swirling letters and place the date alongside the word, I glanced up to see this:
Just days before that I had written "God is for Me" from Romans 8 along with a question, "When will I fully believe this truth?" When I saw what I had written, it was as if angels began to sing the Hallelujah Chorus ever so softly and affirm in my heart the intention God had for my one word this year. "God is for you". How kind and gracious my God is, to show up in a very direct and evident way to reveal the intentions He had for my one word. He is always faithful, even when I question and doubt. He never wavers in his love or changes His mind about the plans he has begun unfolding. There may not be an immediate recognition of the unfolding of His plans but that's okay. I don't have to understand every aspect of how He is moving for this year today. I can trust his heart one day at a time, one week at a time, believing He is for me and live life intentionally, opening my hand to what He might have next, no matter what that may look like.
Now FAITH (believing) is the substance of things hoped for
the evidence of things not seen.