Looking Back

In the last couple of weeks I have been thinking and reflecting on this past year. I have spent many moments flooded with tears of overwhelming gratitude and a heart of thankfulness for all that has transpired. It seems just like yesterday that I was transitioning careers. It is so surreal that it has been a full year since that change occurred and yet the volume of things that have filled this last year are unprecedented.

As I look back I see this nervous and scared girl who didn’t fully know what I was getting myself into…(ok let’s be honest, that first month I was freaking out inside and questioned daily if this new job was really for me). But as I begin to take a closer look I see a girl who was brave, courageous and willing to be marked by obedience. A girl that despite physical and mental hardships was willing to trust God. I could trust His nature and character beyond what I could sense or feel in the natural. I knew that if He called me to this new adventure He will be the one to see me through….and HOLY WOW has He seen me through!!!

The past year has brought a plethora of adventure, trials, hardships, disappointments, victories, hurts, joy, greater understanding, abundant grace, new freedoms and restoration. Within all of the aforementioned, I can assuredly say, that this last year has been a year of extreme growth.

I haven’t seen this much intensity in the growth process as I have in this last year. I don’t know about you, but when I am going through growth I don’t always see that I am actually in a growing process. I definitely FEEL the growing pains, but I am not always aware that the process is taking place.

The following phrase was dropped in my noggin this morning, “what has been germinating and growing in the darkness is about to come to light.” This sentence kept repeating itself in my mind so I knew I better give some attention to it.

Have you ever seen the time lapse of a seed planted into soil? If you haven’t, take a few minutes and check it out, it is so fascinating !!! In the time lapse you’ll notice right away something so remarkable, the first roots that forge don’t grow up, they grow down. The small seed first begins to stretch its roots deep into the soil. You’ll then notice the roots begin to stretch horizontally. Keep in mind all of this is happening underneath the soil not yet visible to the naked eye (sidebar: why do we even say, “naked eye?!” Do I even want naked eyes?! I digress….ok, back to our little seed)……As you keep watching the little seed starts to have a tiny shoot beginning to grow upward until it meets the ceiling of the soil. Then something so miraculous happens, the tiny shoot starts pushing….and pushing….and pushing…..the soil begins to break up….there’s resistance….but it keeps pushing and pushing…..the soil starts to form what looks like a mountain…but the tiny shoot keeps pushing and pushing, until all of a sudden the glorious green shoot pokes through the soil!! It made it through!!! It is feeling the light of life!

I confess, that no matter how many times I have watched these time lapse videos, I find myself cheering that little seed on, “you’re almost there! Don’t give up! Just a few more pushes and you will break through!” I am convinced this is how God views us as well!! He is constantly cheering us on!

Today it has become more clear and evident that God wasn’t growing me “up” He was growing me “down.” Like the seed in the darkened soil, He was causing my roots to grow so much deeper. Then, as we saw in the time lapse, the horizontal growth started and I got a bit excited thinking, “Yes, this must be it, I get to grow up-ward now!” But nope, false alarm we needed a root system that will help stabilize the growth needed to survive the fruit above ground……so there it lies STILL under the soil, moving its roots to the left and to the right.

That is, until this past year. I am beginning to realize this last year has been the beginning of the emerging. The struggles, the failures, the getting-back-up-after-failures, the friction, the rubbing, the stripping away, the molding, learning new muscles (not referring to physical ;)) and being stretched, has all been a part of the strategic plan.

The plan that has caused me to persevere when I felt like throwing in the towel. The plan that makes me want to continue to fight for truth in the inward parts. The plan that makes me want to yield to the process. The plan that allows me to receive/give love and grace. The plan that requires patience and understanding. The plan that hopes in what it cannot see. The plan that holds on to promises God has given, without wavering. The plan that solidifies more of who God is; faithful, provider, healer, hope, confidant, assurance and peace (This list could go on and on!).

The plan that ultimately has led me into a deeper TRUST. Trust in the One who started the work will also be faithful to complete it. Somehow I got the notion I could help Him with HIS plan! Did I not learn anything in the Bible from Sarai, Abrams wife?!?!?! Face palm.

Disclaimer: do NOT try this at home—–> do not try to control your life! Loose the grip, friends! Let go of the notions that you know what you need. Let go of what you see in the natural and look to what God is saying (whether you like it or not)! All I know is the moments I have tried to control a situation or control my life it has been a frightful mini disaster. I in turn become a hot mess thinking I have to strive to make my life happen, FALSE!!! Believe me, I am not a pro at this whole thing, BUT I have learned quite a bit about trying to keep my hands gripped over my life. The results are in: it is not a wise choice.

Today, if you find yourself trying to dictate your growth process (whatever stage you’re in) I encourage you to let go and allow God into that place in your life. The moment you let go I promise you you’ll have peace but don’t be alarmed if you feel push-back or resistance. You may reach for control again, it’s ok, God sees and has endless grace for us as He woos us back into that yielded place of surrender.

Today, take a moment and look back. •Look back to see how far you’ve come. •Look back to see how God has been faithful even when you’ve wanted to take matters into your own hands.

•Look back and find, whether you were in hope or in trial, God was there and never left your side.

•He has a plan, and it’s never changed.

He can be trusted.

Have an amazing joy-filled day!

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