I wrote the blog post below almost a year ago now. For some unknown reason I never hit “publish”. While the specific details have changed over the last 10 months, if I were to re-write it based on today, the premise would remain the same. I’m so thankful I found it this week in my old “drafts”. Posting it “as is” becomes one more reminder of God’s work in my life then, and today. At the conclusion of post I reference the “end of 2017” … we’re not quite there yet, but being only a couple months away I can say that at least so far 2017 has continued to cause me to stand in awe! Looking forward to these final 2 months.
At the beginning of this year, instead of resolutions or goals or things like that, I stumbled upon a set of 2-3 word prayers that I began praying over various areas of my life. For my career: “grace-filled passion” … over my physical health: “beautiful temple” … for my home: “sanctuary for all”. And the list went on. 12 areas. 12 short prayers.
At various times throughout the year I was very intentional about praying each of them every day. Other times I would focus on one specific prayer for weeks on end. And realistically, as things go, of course there were the times I didn’t think of them at all. What amazes me most though is through both the intentional times of focus and those where these prayers were far from my mind, God heard and God answered. One step more… the answers were different (and in almost every case better) than I could have imagined.
When I sat in those early January days praying “intentional relationships” over my family and friends, I could have imagined the ways God would bring depth to friendships already started. Nor could I have imagined the amazing people he has brought across my path to grow with, laugh with and do life with.
When I prayed for “open doors” I had no clue I would finally get to go to China. Not to mention trips to Belize and Chicago and Kansas and so many other places. And those are the doors that were opened to go… not to mention the ones that were opened right around me… doors to interact more with my neighbors… doors in ministry at UB… doors to sing with the Buffalo Philharmonic … and more.
Prayers for “outrageous generosity” in my finances have led to opportunities to see amazing things happen and be a part of it.
“Try new things” in my personal life was answered through little things like exploring new foods or getting my first massage… and then there are the big things too like opening my home to an exchange student and simultaneously becoming ‘mom’ for the first time. Yea… definitely didn’t see that one coming 12 months ago.
Looking forward to 2017 it’s easy for me to think of all things that seem missing, the things I wish would have gone differently this past year, the ways God didn’t come through in the way I hoped he would. But when I stop and ponder the countless ways he’s answered these prayers and more, I can’t help but be overwhelmed with gratitude and that gratitude leads to trust.
Jesus, keep me trusting You. When I stand at the end of 2017 I will once again find myself amazed at all you did. Whether the year ahead is filled with great joy, unbearable heartache, confusion, excitement, or most likely a combination of it all, I can trust that it WILL be filled with you. When I stand at the end of 2017, may I find myself once again standing in awe.
“Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, O Lord. Repeat them in our day, in our time make them known…” Habakkuk 3:2a