Jan 7, 2014

A New Year--My Fairest Lord Jesus

The year 2013 afforded me many wonderful treasures, like having a natural birth with Truman, proudly watching Wilder on his big kid bike, exposing Story to ballet, braving the heat of Phoenix for an Origami Owl event, and soaking in my beloved mountains with my beloved. 

My children are healthy, well fed and clothed, and this little brick house keeps us warm. I couldn't be more thankful for the Lord's faithfulness, keen watchfulness, and even His jealousy. How He is jealous for my heart, how He wants all of it, and how He relentlessly pursues me. Relentlessly! No one on earth will ever pursue me like that.

I want to be as hungry for Him as He is for me.
Sadly, last year was also deluged with the most gripping pain I have ever endured. I believe my heart had to physically grow to accommodate the pain. It was a universal shock to my system. I wish I could say I praised the Lord at every wave and every pang of disappointment and fear, but in my humanness and questioning, I did not. 

I am inspired by the apostle Paul, who even in chains, still found the joy, still sang, still worshipped, still witnessed. His faith was as tall as the oaks. But in my own chains, in my own all consuming fog of agony, my heart couldn't find a reason to sing. 

Yet even then, engulfed in the heavy fog of confusion and disbelief, I saw this beautiful nail-scarred hand reaching through to me. At times I could stretch out just far enough to touch the tip of his index finger with mine, and at other times I could fully grip His firm, healing hand. He never left me! Not once.

I've learned countless lessons about the fallibleness/sinfulness/selfishness of myself and humankind throughout my wilderness journey, throughout my storm. Though the storm still whirls and bangs around me, I continue to be comforted by Christ's gracious hands. Oftentimes I run to him, slump into His arms ( I'm so tired), and let Him envelope me with His strength, His forgiveness, His new song for me, His new name for me. I know that I'm not defined by circumstance and that He's still looking out for me.

Perhaps you look at 2013 with feelings of both gladness and sorrow, but more so, sorrow. You vow to make 2014 better. You vow to kick its butt. You exclaim to your cat or your mom or the internet that you will triumph and rise. But friends, you can't do any of that unless your heart is His. He will multiply your efforts to triumph, if you do them in His will. He will give you the resources and strength and encouragement and love and relationships and grace that you need for every moment. For every challenge and every decision.
(no make up--eek)

He can do that.

I guarantee if you let Him do that you will not regret it.
He WILL give you reason to sing.
He WILL do what He promises.
He WILL uplift you.

He is the Lord Jesus, Fairest of all.

And provide for those who grieve in Zion - to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor. 
// Isaiah 61:3

Happy New Year, friends.
and, Welcome, 2014.


Kristen Thornburg said...

Such a sweet post and your pictures are lovely!! You're so pretty!

Drea said...

praying for u - can i say, ur hair is amazing!

Tessa Miller-Schweder said...

It was so nice to meet you at the Kansas City Origami Owl event! Your words are so inspiring my sweet friend.

Whitney Conard said...

oh man, such great words, mindy - thanks for opening up your heart and encouraging us to trust Jesus above all.