Not a soul may have noticed because I forgot altogether too . . .I negated to write my annual "This Christmas . . ." note and so I now start the tradition of speaking to the New Year.
In 2012 I am CHOOSING JOY. I choose to live the freedom I have been gifted.
As many of you may have noticed, the last few years have brought about quite a bit of change within the dynamics of my immediate family. The pictures on my Facebook Timeline are missing a specific figure of my past, my earthly daddy. For the sake of my family's feelings, and their right to privacy, I will not share more than necessary about the circumstances that brought about this missing figure. Maybe another year. I will say that for me personally, this has brought about change in one of the biggest forms. Loss and gain.
It's been a few years since I exited his presence but it's only been months since I made the choice to let him go. I no longer receive his texts or calls and I missed him with me for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. Our family is healthy. We are whole and it has come through freedom and through our choice to follow what is best and not just better. For now, no contact is for my best. This is my choice. Thanking God for that choice. Choices often result in sacrifice. For now, my greatest sacrifice in this life is the letting go of my earthly hero, my daddy.
Why should I start my "This New Year . . ." note based on a sad reality? Because, "To be LOVED. is to be known, and to be known, is to be LOVED.."* I want you to know me. I want to be known. This may sound arrogant . . .take it as you will. I think in honesty, we all feel the same way. The desire to be recognized for who we are or want to be. I want to be known as . . .
Someone called me that one time and I was VERY offended . . .I soon realized the compliment that I had been given :) I want to be LOVED.. I place the period there to represent the message that God gave several other girls and myself the honor of sharing and that is that we are not only "loved" by God but that we are "LOVED." by God. This love equals finality. The period is placed improperly at the end of the word to state the significance of its' Biblical endurance and unconditional nature. He is the only One Who possesses the ability to love yet so completely . . .and He chooses to love me. I pray you re-read this as many times as it takes to believe it and settle into it as true for yourself as well.
"By this God's love was revealed in us, that God has sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him." 1 John 4:9
Before I move on and tell of the great things that God has done, let me finish my "fatherly" thought, which will seg-way into the rest of my heart's pourings . . .
I love people. I have ALWAYS loved people. Since birth, they have been my passion and calling inside of my heart to glorify God. He taught me to pursue Truth and to tell anyone who would listen. People, are the audience of my art. Not an audience of 1? Yes, it's for Him, and to Him, and via Him but in front of them. Mostly. My earthly father was born to a similar cause. To this day, from what I hear, he rarely meets a stranger without an attempt to make them his friend. My dad was called to minister, I believe that.
I used to believe that I was going to be the minister that my dad was called to be . . .
The truth has been revealed.
I am the minister my God has called me to be. I am unworthy. I am blessed. I am God's.
I belong to my purpose, to glorify God and in that I shall strive. Striving in 2012 will look much different than the "striving" of 2011. That was a confusing year, my friends :) As I leave my father behind, I pray for him upon each letting go. Each piece of baggage I learn to drop, has significance in the healing process and in the desire to grow beyond the circumstances that once attempted to keep me trapped, and useless. God in me is strong.
“THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME,
BECAUSE HE ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR.
HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES,
AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND,
TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED,
TO PROCLAIM THE FAVORABLE YEAR OF THE LORD.” -Luke 4:18-19(Jesus here fulfilled Isaiah's prophesy)
Pray for my dad. I ask more than anything in the world. He doesn't have a facebook or access to my blog that I know of but either way, he can know I love him and want him whole. He wants to be known and loved. too. This is his sought after prize. "Jesus, be His prize in 2012."
On to brighter things . . .2011 makes me crinkle my nose a little bit, haha! I laugh at the thought of my life in this past year. So many unexpected moments. So many mysterious moves. As the philosophical wonder, "Dori" from Finding Nemo once said, "Just keep swimming!" I did! I find it humorous that the last production that I was a part of while at my alma mater was named, "Moving Forward" for that is what we all did! I miss you. I miss my "Family" and my friends. Blessed to still be apart and affected by your memory and love.
I laugh at my antics as I spoke, sang, danced, and periodically yelled at god over the last year! "What are you doing up there, for heaven's sake!" Hahah! He is funny :)
Gain and loss.
Revealed Ministries took my breath away both spring and fall in ways that can only be described as a team member once did, "WHOOH." Yes, I smile. Life-change, passion, music, dancing, art, speaking, truth, tears . . .names.
In 2011 I ate spaghetti.
The summer of Shooting Water and a great City-scape leave me with the knowledge that I can't do life alone. Community matters. God did not make man an island and no one can be your savior but Him.
My home, my actual home, has become my home once more. This again is a nose crinkling fact! Who would have thought that I would give in to one of the most joyous seasons of my life, where family became family even deeper still. Mamma has been amazing as always and I have enjoyed spending time with her, in this unforgettable season. She is the perfect picture of perseverance. My work place has been my heart. My baby, Grey and my 70"ish" students, along with instructor friends. I have been given the gift of making money, while doing what I love. Amen to that! Grateful! Wow!
In 2011 I danced.
Friends moved, moved on, and passed on. I miss them. All of them. I cherish my memories of them. I give them over to my God in prayer Every. Single. Day.
Except for one. She needs not my prayer. She is with my God and sheds not one more tear. Joy.
Sisters live their lives . . .new seasons, new birth, new life! New! Happy. Overjoyed. Scared but influenced by faith each day. Making life best and not just better. My sisters are so very LOVED. by me. And that's a fact.
Some are forever. You know who you are. Roots. Threads interwoven. Family and not by default. Let's grow old together and live for Jesus the whole way.
Fundraising seems to be my lot in life . . .I really like it. Fundraising helps people. I love people, remember? This may not be the end but because of current events shaping together, it may just be the beautiful beginning of a new way to serve. The world is my calling . . .or rather the people in it. And although I'd rather do anything than deal with money personally (I'd rather have none to be frank . . .and that seems to be my new trend ;), currency helps people! Nothing more gives me joy than to see others work towards and achieve their God given potential, living their story!!! Money helps them do that and I want to help them in ways that I can.
Slavery must end.
This tragic lifestyle must end abroad. It must end here. I will do all I can. I ask you to as well. Awareness has taken off . . .keep it going! Become aware and then act. Simply act. Choose to end slavery. Don't wait. It's always too late but it's never too early.
I don't know yet if I will travel the world, although I will know soon. I may have been given the spirit of "Go" to be kept at home. That spirit is not for naught. I will go every day. My passion rages on for THE story. His story. My story points to it. My 2011 story should lead others to read His. Pick up His Word and read it like a letter. Start where it makes sense and read it until you understand it better! His story will not fail you as people have. There is life, freedom, hope, and the knowledge that you are LOVED. right within its' pages. Will it all make sense out of context . . .no. Ask questions! Don't be afraid to change! Stop talking about it ;) Do it!
. . .and then tell your story!!!
My tongue has taught me lessons this year. Lessons that revolve around the fact that when I am dissatisfied in myself, I leave others damaged in judgment. May I repent of this often and hold fast to the love I know . . .for myself . . .and for others. I have a great example. Now to live it out.
May my words be sweet in 2012.
May my desire to live outside of the legalistic Christian box make large and radical differences in the way that I think and act. May I not be the norm but the difference in 2012. May God's peace surround my being and may my feet leave it in places unknown. May I never withhold mercy . . .as I have been shown.
I feel that I sound arrogant. Like I've figured it all out! I always seem to think I sound that way when I write. It's not on purpose! It's idealistic. I am my biggest critic. Grace is needed within each typed word and grace will be needed within each spoken sentence. For goodness sakes . . .grace has already been given. I am here. I am free. Welcome to 2012.
"She is clothed in strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future." Proverbs 31:5
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