I decided a long time ago, like when my children were just toddlers, that resolutions were not my thing and I could not possibly hold myself accountable to unrealistic goals like dieting and loosing 50 pounds worth of baby weight in just a month. Believe it or not, that was one of my resolutions because I was so unhappy with how I looked during that season of my life. Babies are a blessing and boy do they take a toll on your body. Amen?
Some time ago, I was with one of my mentors and she suggested that we pray and ask God to reveal just one word to me for the year. During that year I would pray that word into life and earnestly seek to see it, understand it and apply it. God has been so faithful each year with my word.
Last year, I didn’t ask for a word. I didn’t want to exist. I wanted to crawl under a very dark rock and hide from the world. God had to deal with me on whole different level in 2019, but 2020 is a brand new year and after being dealt with in so many ways and learning to lean on God all over again, I asked God for a new word.
He gave me, drum roll please, GATHER.
This word make a spark in my soul when I heard it. Then I wrote it in my journal and fireworks! Beautiful, glorious, shiny, sparkly FIREWORKS! They jumped from the page and my heart raced with wonder.
Why gather? Because all of 2019 I secluded myself. I kept hidden in the shadows and tried so hard to refresh and renew a broken spirit within me. I only spoke to a few cherished friends. I worked hard to be there for the three children still at home. I struggled with keeping my marriage as a purpose. I fought so hard to not cry my eyes out every single day from all the new things that developed. I prayed a lot. I screamed inside at God a lot. I hated to live and loved that I was still alive all at the same time. BUT – I didn’t gather. I stayed alone in my thoughts.
Gather. Because God is speaking to me to bring near those that I love. Walk from the past and love the future. God has great things from what I walked through – still walk through. He has this great plan that will be so so good.
Gather. I questioned it. I asked why. I researched the word. ‘acaph (aw-sawf’) is the Hebrew word for gather. It means “gatherer”; “to bring together”. Yes, bring together of people, but I first need to bring together my thoughts, soul, and peace. I need to have an alignment in my soul that will allow me to then gather my tribe of people once again and celebrate the genuine connection that God put between us all.
Isaiah 52:12 says, “But you will not leave in haste or go in flight; for the Lord will go before you, the God of Israel will be your rear guard”
So I will gather with the Lord because he never did leave me the whole time I suffered inside and tried to hide. He knew what was coming because he had already gone before me and he came up and picked up every piece that fell from my soul and held it in his hands. My pieces were taken from sharp shards and crushed into a fine dust and then molded by my Father’s hands and put back into me to make me stronger from what I walked through. Every single piece God made stronger and better.
You can see the scars still. They are so visible, but that’s perfect. I can show them proudly because I survived. I can tell the story of how I gained my battle wounds and not be ashamed of them. I can help other moms and women walk through their journey’s having gone through such a time as 2019. I can’t say that I am proud that I needed to learn the way I did. I was mostly ashamed that I didn’t continue to go to God for healing and tried to do it on my own for so long, but that was part of my story. I learn the hard way – A LOT!
Gather. While I bring back my center and focus my soul on things above and seek God to guide my days, hours, minutes, seconds, I also am slowly bringing back into view my tribe. Those cherished that have been praying for me and waiting on the sidelines for me to come back to them. They gave me space and time. They kept on praying for me and my family. They still do. They are my people. They have a special place because God knows I need them. They know they can expect to see me soon.