So, 2011. I'm not joking in the least bit when I say that the year of 2011 could definitely be classified as the best year yet. Through out my life I've had good times and bad times, as everyone does, but this last year has been SO COOL. Right before the year started, I had that moment. The one where I realized that I hadn't been letting God be the Lord of my life, only the savior.
It was a lesson that took years to learn, with lots of heartbreak and depression. My senior year of high school I asked God to grow me and show me how to be closer to him. I don't regret doing that in the least bit but I did not realize at all how stubborn I would be or how much I would have to break to get that lesson. God wanted me to let him lead. I thought I was, but really I was trying to control my own life, live out my plans, and 'fit' God in. Yeah.
So I started out January with a life of submission, finally giving it all to God. I realized that I needed to read the Bible more to learn about God's attributes and let his truth seek into my life (previously my relationship with God consisted mostly of prayer and letting others teach me God's work... not learning on my own). I also realized that I need to wake up each day and pray, giving that day to him and asking for his mindset not mine. Such an awesome power, to live the Spirit filled-life! The last realization I had was that this was a process, living life. Before, I had always wanted life to be a series of accomplishments. Something I could process or conquer and be done with. But that isn't how life works.
The plan was simple. I wanted to give my entire life over to God and live the life HE wanted for me, not what I wanted for me. I knew that this needed to include people also. My previous relationship consisted of just God and me. I had no idea what living in community looked like. So that was what I was going to work on. Learning to let people love me, to be vulnerable with others, and to have accountability. Things God had pointed out to me that I had been missing all these years. Things that were going to force me to grow. I was excited and scared, choosing this new way of life. But as I had said, what ever God wanted. I figured I would grow within my quiet times, lifegroup, and other church activities.
But it never turns out the way we think, does it? Very shortly after starting this new way of life, and being so incredibly blessed by it, God asked for more. See, the area of my life that I wanted to control the most before the area of romance. I had wanted marriage so much that I had torn myself apart trying to get it MY way. I had finally healed from the past and given control to God in that area. I had sworn off any type of relationships for at least the year, turning my attention to God instead. But God wanted me to learn to be vulnerable, trust him, and learn to let others love me. So, he saw fit to bring me my husband. The very end of January/beginning of February is when I got the nudge from God about Travis. I spent about a month praying about it and very boldly telling God that I was not looking for a relationship and didn't want one at all but that, as promised, I would follow God wherever he lead me. Including a romantic relationship. God said 'once more with trust' (I HAD to have the Buffy reference!) and so I did...
I can't even describe the year to you in one blog post. I'm SO glad that God is in control now. I have been so unbelievable blessed, stretched, and grown by him this last year. I can look back and see how he has woven everything in my life for his purpose so perfectly! Even the mistakes I've made have been used for his glory. It's insane! It has been whirlwind with meeting, dating, getting engaged, planning a wedding, and marrying Travis and also stopping a ministry, starting a ministry, starting to help lead a lifegroup, quitting a job, getting a new job, and learning to be a wife... just to name a few things!
I also will tell you it hasn't been a breeze. Choosing to live your life in a way that says you will seek to let God shape you isn't easy. It means being out of your comfort zone. It means letting go of control. It means choosing to grow even when it hurts. Having hard conversations. Talking about and processing things instead of burying them. But it is so freeing to live in the freedom that the grace of God gives. It means not worrying what others think and spending all your time pouring out love on others that you don't have time to wallow in mistakes. Our life is not our own, which means that we have to get up and keep moving, no matter what the enemy may throw our way. God's strength is SO much more powerful then mine. This last year could only have happened through him.
I am so looking forward to another unbelievable year with God leading. He has put Travis and I together for his glory and we're beginning to get a glimpse of what that might be. Of course, it's always changing ;) But I'm excited to grow with him more as one and continue to seek the kingdom of God in whatever way that may be :) Here's to the new year!