In general, I'm not a word-for-the-year kinda gal. I think that has become trendy and I'm all about being non-trendy...hence my jeans-and-tshirt-wearing, tractor-trailer-living, didn't-even-know-chevron-was-a-pattern-until-last-year life! :)
And, yet, here I am with a word for the year. A theme. A promise.
Towards the end of 2014 the Lord was pressing on my heart that He wanted to remind me what it feels like to really, really celebrate. At first, I pushed the thoughts aside. How silly...God telling me to celebrate...God telling me that a season of celebration was coming.
2012 and 2013 were filled with times of great sorrow, trials, death, and pain. There were, of course, many wonderful things too and much to be grateful for but the reality is that much of the time was spent in the valley. A valley where my sweet Jesus met me and held me and was SO. REAL to me. So real. So sweet. So precious! I don't necessarily want to run into any valleys any time soon but I wouldn't trade my time with Jesus for anything!
2014 was spent coming out of the fog, grieving, moving on, trying to find my way and relationship with God on the other side of the valley. And, yes, it did really take me a whole year to work through some things. Between having a baby and moving, I was a little preoccupied. :)
So, celebrate. Celebration. Many events, sermons, conversations, prayers, and scriptures have been pointing me in this direction. God always affirms what He is doing in our lives and hearts.
I don't know what this year will bring. We are only 2 weeks into January and I've already had days where I've wanted to hang my hat up. This theme of celebrating doesn't guarantee that everything will be easy peasy or that there won't be heart-breaking moments this year. It means that this year, my heart will sing. I will dance. I will pray. I will rejoice. I will experience joy in the little things. My husband is calling this the year of jubilee for our family.
I just have to get past the guilt. I have been struggling with accepting this season of celebration from the Lord. How can I celebrate?? How can I rejoice when there is someone out there in despair? There is someone caring for a dying family member. There is someone heartbroken over miscarriage. There is someone lost, headed to hell. There are marriages falling apart. There are friends hurting.
How can I get over being so wrecked for the past couple years that I can accept this season of celebration wholeheartedly? I don't know. I really don't know. I don't pretend to understand the Lord's timing but He has told me that He knows what He is doing and this is my season to celebrate. I. feel. so. guilty. just. typing. this. I don't want to forget the valley. I don't want to lose my growth and progress with Jesus. I don't want my year of jubilee to be for naught.
I don't want to flippantly run around happy-go-lucky. I want to celebrate what God has done for me. I want to experience joy in the many things He has given us here on earth that are just glimpses of what will be One Day.
I would never have been prepared or appreciated the Lord gently ushering in this season of celebration without the previous season He walked me through. So, if you are in a different season than that of celebration, please know that I know your valleys are real. Jesus knows. He is with you. He will BE your next breath, your next step, the lifter of your head.
For now, I am trying to embrace this promise. I am trying to have the faith of a little child. There is purpose in the valleys. There is also purpose in the rejoicing. In the celebrating. Inside, I am giddy. I want to smile so much. I am looking forward to smiling more, to truly laughing more. I could literally dance watching the sunrise in the mornings and fall on my knees praising the Creator. He has created all the seasons. The cold, dark, wet times and the fragrant, sunny, bright times and all the ones in between.
The Year of Jubilee it is!! Restoration, rejuvenation, and celebration. For His glory and in His timing.