I’ve seen a plethora of New Year’s goals, optimistic sentiments, and good riddance to last year posts circulating. And don’t get me wrong, I have a few goals of my own both physical and spiritual. However, as Mitch and I reflected this week we kept coming around to the thought that God has us square in the middle of a season right now.
God’s made his faithfulness evident to us in more ways than I can count over the past year and a half. But during the past few months, his radical grace and never-ending love have assaulted and hijacked our lives in new and challenging ways.
Have you ever noticed how aggressive God’s love can be? I’ve been reading through some of the Old Testament books of prophecy lately, and it keeps striking me how strongly God pursues us with His passionate, merciful, transformative, and tender love.
I feel as though we have been (and still are) in a season of renewal. It almost feels as though we are renewing our vows with God. Both Mitch and I became Christians in middle school. And though our faith had grown over the years, individually and together, we had reached a place where our faith was so externalized that inwardly cynicism had snuck in. (Forgive this analogy, my daughter loves the song “Let It Go” . . . ) “Don’t let them in, don’t let them see, be the good girl you always have to be . . . ” Like Anna, ice had started to form around my heart. And it had me in a death grip.
I feel it is important to note that I deeply craved vulnerability, but I felt unsure about how to open up and be spiritually vulnerable. I think that can be one of the struggles or pressures of paid ministry. Both Mitch and I had experienced rejection when trying to be vulnerable. This was a factor in our decision to step away from ministry. (It was a multilayered, complex decision.)
Fortunately, Mitch and I stayed vulnerable and honest with each other. But the next step, or path forward seemed obscured, at least for me, by fear. Yet, through the simplest of circumstances, an interaction with a stranger, God handed me an option. One that I normally would have written off as too risky and ignored. But this time I just felt the tender surrender of my fear.
And since this time, God has addressed each and every one of my concerns–from isolation, rejection, divisiveness, and missteps. He has spoken love in deeper ways than I have felt in years, grace over my failures, faithfulness in our future, community into our lives, and peace to my anxieties.
Like a tightly-gripped hand slowly unclenching, or ice melting, or cracks forming in the side of a dam, I am letting go. And in the letting go, God’s will takes hold, His Spirit infuses, and in losing, I find.
We are very much in the middle of this season of healing, hope, renewal, and grace. Where God has whispered into my heart repeatedly to let go of judgement, fear, bitterness, and the deeply-rooted sin of pride.
If you asked me what 2018 might hold for us, or what lies in our future–I wouldn’t have the slightest clue. We are still striving to engage life daily at home and to engage God in new ways. But in doing so we are laying aside ambition and our short-sighted plans. I believe that God’s will is active in our lives, but right now He just wants us to be still. To unfurl. To receive Him.
I realize this is ambiguous. We are in the process of owning our story and want to share more specific stories from where we’ve been, where we are, and where we are going–not that we know that part yet! We also want to take the time to be realistic and honest with you, dear readers and friends. Mitch and I have so many passions, goals, and hopes surrounding The Engaged Home. But time is not a luxury we possess much of. And in this season of stillness and surrender–not to mention raising our three kids–so much more of our time is going toward reading God’s word, journaling, praying, and surrendering our personal ambitions.
As a result, posts will be infrequent. Our hearts are still brimming with so many things we desire to write and share with you. However, with the writing, editing, and formatting of posts sometimes taking hours for just one, we are not in a position to make promises. Our priority is to live what we believe and put our time and energy into being engaged at home. But we hope and pray that you will stay in touch. We have been deeply blessed by relationships that started through The Engaged Home. Signing up to receive our posts via email (see sidebar) or following our family and blog on The Engaged Home Facebook page or Instagram are a great way to make sure you don’t miss it when we do post. You can also contact us via email. 🙂
***Also, thank you to my mother-in-law Teri for surprising me with a new camera for Christmas (amazon affiliate link). I am loving it! I have a lot to learn about DSLR cameras, but I am loving the results so far. Photography friends, if you have any tips for the Nikon 3300 or something similar let me know!***