I turned 36 on Monday. I'm only a few days in to the thirty-six gig, but I gotta say: Lovin' it.
Thirty five was a good year. It was a time of resetting-back-into-position. And although that's ultimately a good thing, the process of it is sometimes painful...and messy.
Life has a way of getting out of order. Suddenly non-important issues work their way up the priority scale. And people and relationships of value slide down...because there's only room for so many at the top.
It's amusing for me to look back. I knew God was leading in the shake-up, but I obeyed so very timidly.
People pleasing tendencies became exposed. Unhealthy relationships became exposed. I learned that dealing with both of those, once you've allowed them to take root for awhile is...ugly. I really don't have any other word for it. Whenever we make changes in our lives, there is fall-out. And usually it involves a mix of good and bad. I wasn't quite prepared for the bad to be so bad.
There were countless times I wanted to flee back into the false-comfort of my familiar old-way of operating. So very many times. And in that, God exposed my pride. Again. And even as I write this, part of me wants to flee back to the familiar. To appease. To appease others to make them happier. To shut them up. Because it seems like a quick and easy fix.
And God is not into quick and easy. Because quick and easy is dumb and useless.
So much of my year 35....my timid obedience of 35, was to prepare me for what He's calling me to in my 36th year of life. And that is courage.
I managed the obedience to the shake-up that was required, not without many mis-steps on my part, but now....this year, is about the courage to own them.
Courage to live loudly the gospel of Christ that brings hope, rather than timidly hiding behind meaningless small-talk (which I abhor, by the way)
Courage to speak truth in love in the right moments, rather than nodding my head and smiling.
Courage to have peace with the fact that in ministry and in life, people will be critical. And harsh. I need courage to love them rather than appease them.
Courage to write again. To write hard instead of over-censoring so that no one reads into something wrongly. If they do...they do. Courage.
Courage to obey boldly, rather than timidly or begrudgingly.
Courage to be me. The me who God has created, who He wants me to be and not who anyone else thinks I am.
There's so many other areas I need courage. I can't begin to know what year 36 will hold...I know that God shows me just a tiny glimpse because it's all my feeble heart and mind can handle. But I feel that courage He's planted, like a small spark growing. I'm gonna screw it up sometimes. Without a doubt. But courage to fail is another area that needs some growth...
Life really is a beautiful mess.