It’s been a quiet year here. This post will make seventeen for the whole year. There was a time I would post that in a month. And I miss this space, I miss the writing, I miss my readers. I miss sharing and growing together. But the words just haven’t come. It’s been a year of quiet introspection and working things out with pen and paper and God. And it’s like my public words are locked in some great vault and they are numerous – so many things I want to say and share – but I wait for someone to come and turn the key.
But as I look back on this last day of 2015, on a year that I am more than happy to see go, on a year that has taught me more than I was ever brave enough to ask about myself, my relationships, and my Jesus, I know that I am ending the year with deeper appreciation for all three, a deeper understanding, a deeper peace in Christ than I knew to be possible twelve months ago.
Sometimes God takes us places we would never ask to go, places we think He would never ask us to go, and in those places we learn things about Him and about ourselves that we never would have known otherwise. And we can choose to become bitter or we can choose to let Him make us better; we can choose to nurse our hurt and shut the world out or we can let Him use those places we would not go to lead us to places we’ve always wanted to be.
This is…what God desires of each of His children. He wants us to be ‘more than conquerors,’ turning storm clouds into chariots of victory. It is obvious when an army becomes ‘more than conquerors,’ for it drives its enemies from the battlefield and confiscates their food and supplies. This is exactly what this Scripture passage means. There are spoils to be taken!
Dear believer, after experiencing the terrible valley of suffering, did you depart with the spoils? When you were struck with an injury and you thought you had lost everything, did you trust in God to the point that you came out richer than you were before? Being ‘more than a conqueror’ means taking the spoils from the enemy and appropriating them for yourself. What you enemy had planned to use for your defeat, you can confiscate for your own use.
~ Streams in the Desert, December 18
Looking back on the past twelve months, fear has wanted to shut the world out but God has reminded me to be brave and so I keep tearing walls down and letting God do what He needs to do in my heart. And looking back on the past twelve months, I see the spoils I have taken from the enemy. What Satan had planned to use for my defeat, for my utter destruction, God has confiscated for His own glory and my good. And He has taken this hard, dark year, and made it a thing of incredible beauty.
As we look forward to 2016 so many things feel unknown, as they should. And my heart, even after all I’ve learned this year, my panicked, terrified heart wants to guard itself and enforce every measure of control I can imagine in my little world. Yet, I know that’s not God’s way or God’s best. So I keep tearing down walls, I keep being brave. I choose to stay soft, to trust, to follow Him, wherever the next twelve months take us. Because I know He is good.
For His Glory ~