Monday, December 19, 2016

Color Your Year

This time last year I was in a desert. It was the first anniversary of
my mom’s passing, and only five months after my step-mom’s passing, who lived in Mississippi with my dad.

I did not want to do Christmas.

At 80 years old, this would be my dad’s first Christmas alone, ever; as far as I knew.

I traveled alone to Mississippi to be with Dad, where we would robotically go through the motions of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Just the two of us.

On Christmas day, after the last dish was cleaned and leftovers put away, I was relieved. I sensed his relief too.

We got through it.                

I was glad to be alone during the eight-hour drive home the next day. I simply needed to process and give myself permission to grieve.

This desert season also included shallow fellowship with the Lord. 

I was spending the bare minimum of time with Him, in His word and praying; just getting by. Checking it off my list.

It’s no wonder I was thirsty. Hungry. Drained. I knew why I had this longing in my heart and that only Jesus could fill it.

I was tired of the desert. Over it.

My best friend (thank God for those!!!), Sande, has always been strong and consistent with her personal times with God, especially during hard times.

The most grounded woman I know (the one on the right), she passionately studies God’s word. Of all the women Bible-study teachers and writers, she surpasses them all.

One day, during my dry season, we were talking when our conversation turned to Jesus, as it often does. She shared how she’s asking God for their theme for upcoming 2016.

"Theme?" I asked.

She shared how every year she asks God for a theme and color for their daily dates together. She never misses a day of time alone with Jesus. Not one. Ever.

In her words, “I have a date everyday with Jesus!” She further shared how He would never stand her up, so how could she. She emphasized to me how she needed this time with Him; that it wasn’t because she’d arrived in any way, but because of her need.

After our talk I decided to copycat Sande’s prayer. I asked God for a theme and color to represent what He wanted to do in me in 2016. 

I made a new commitment to meet with Him daily, even when it meant getting up before the roosters.

Wow! It was one of the quickest prayers He’s ever answered! It resonated with me completely.

GREEN. GROW.

All shades of green are some of my favorite colors. Spring and Summer are my favorite seasons because of the fresh green life taking root and growing.

Excited, I prepared by buying a green journal, pens, selected a three-year Bible-reading plan and got ready to grow on my dates with Jesus.

Finding a new place to be alone with Him was important. Part of our attic above the garage is finished and makes a perfect solitary place away from distractions. I incorporated some greens with blues and yellows (together they make green), in my new surroundings. 

I never explained to my husband why I disappeared every morning behind a closed door in the little room above our garage. Thirty minutes quickly turned into the quickest hour of every day!

God has been faithful! He shows up every morning. I can’t say it’s all been feely-good, spirit-filled warm fuzzy times.

There has been gentle discipline from Him, and coming clean on my part. Each time I could feel roots going down into the fresh soil of grace and mercies He met me with each morning.

He refreshed my heart. He placed a new passion in me for prayer. He sent living water into my desert, making it like a well-watered garden.

Now I’m hooked.

We have only two weeks left in 2016. I asked the Lord again for a theme and color for 2017. I’m telling you the truth when I say that before the words came out of my mouth, He showed me.

Red. Love.

I’m not a big fan of red. And I’ve always felt I didn’t love well and have difficulty receiving love. And since He knows this about me, it makes perfect sense. Once again I’m excited about my dates with Jesus!

Now it’s your turn.

Do you long to be close with Jesus, but you struggle with knowing where to read in your Bible? Do you have problems focusing; fighting distractions?

Ask Him to show you a theme and color for the upcoming year. He longs to date you. He longs to tell you many things.

Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. Jeremiah 33:3

After you ask Him, and He shows you, I want to hear back from you. Come back here and share below in the comments your theme for your dates with Jesus in 2017. 

Staying the course,
Terri


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