I survived 2016.
I’ve always scoffed at the idea of merely “surviving” ordeals. I want to thrive. I want to live in the midst of chaos and love every moment. However, this year has been the worst of my life. I will say that truthfully. There were moments so low, I couldn’t get out of bed. There were moments so euphoric and temporarily happy that I couldn’t go to bed. There were clusters of time when the minutes slowed to aching millennia.
I can see each dip and fall of this year as both cause and effect of choices, and the steadily working hand of God. I had placed so much hope and happiness in my job in Asia, that when it fell through, my heart broke. The same day those plans fell through, the man I had loved for years and was going to live with in Asia, confessed he was gay. I spent a month in dumbfounded confusion, numb and lost.
I didn’t want to stay in the states, I didn’t want to continue on this journey alone, I didn’t want to see all of my dreams destroyed.
Then there was my job. Raising 3 children as a nanny, in a chaotic home was not what I had expected of my life. Working with children, yes. Basically being a house servant? Never would I have ever imagined myself in this position. The circumstances involved made it necessary for me to stay, against everything inside of me.
During this time, God had very patiently and specifically set some guidelines. Do not leave your job, do not date these men, do not try to leave the country. Every cell in me fought against this. I begged, I pleaded, and sometimes I tried to do what I wanted. I dated men whom the Holy Spirit shouted at me not to. I dated men who forced themselves on me in parking garages, men who used nice words but left as soon as I wouldn’t give them what they wanted; one, I found out, was actually married. Each time I was allowed to walk in this a certain amount of time before I leapt back into the arms and Grace of God. The pull of God is still stronger than anything, and this is only Grace upon Grace. A thousand times it is Grace.
I’ve never had to struggle with obedience like I have this year. I happily lived in submission to the Lord….until 2016 hit. The struggle has left me stripped of my will to fight. Grace, is abundant and astounding. Each month seemed to carry a new battle, and at the end it was a new area of surrender. The hands of God worked so deeply inside of my heart, I am overwhelmed with His ability to fine-tune His creations.
I’m a pretty stubborn person (to put it lightly). God knows this. He made me, after all. God knew the fight in me, and that I needed to wrestle it all out. God isn’t afraid of us. He lovingly works with us. So into the boxing ring I went, as Jacob against the angel of the Lord, until I came to surrender to and admit the superiority and wisdom of a loving God.
One day, after breaking down in exhaustion from my taxing job, I surrendered that last piece of will to the Lord. “All right. I will stay in this place and at this job until you tell me otherwise.” With a quiet heart, I went into work that morning. It was that same morning my boss informed me my position was no longer needed and I would be free to leave in 3 weeks. The euphoria of freedom cannot be described.
I am moving to NYC in 2 weeks as a nanny. It’s not the mission field I was fighting for, and it’s not the destination I had in mind; but the hand of God is so around this I am humbled.
2016. The year I would never repeat. The year my heart broke asunder more times than I can count.The year The Lord did great miracles in this heart of mine. The year the Lord surrounded me, protected me, taught me more about his nature and my nature and our relationship than I could have hoped for.
I survived 2016. I hope you know that you will too: beautifully, as a testimony of Grace