Looking back and moving forward: Reflections on faith, restoration, and expectancy

We are going to stray from the normal topics a bit with this post, so please bear with me for just a moment. First, I will say that we have taken an unexpected hiatus from blogging for close to a year. There have been many other “unplanned” events throughout this year, from cancelling our Dominican Republic trip to move from Michigan to Virginia, and a change of direction regarding my education and ministry focus (outside of Compassion). It’s in these moments of the unplanned and unexpected that we should strive to see the Lord working—guiding with a steady yet all be it at times unseen hand.

 

Faith

 

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (Heb 11:1).

 

In 2013, my “One Word” was “Faith.” I cannot begin to tell you how very important that word became throughout the year. Admittedly, I did not plan a word for 2014. Either I narrowly escaped it, or I completely avoided it altogether, already overstepping my self-imposed faith limit at the year’s-end. Nonetheless, it was not in my plan. As is often the case however, God had a different plan (Isa 55:8-9).

 

Restoration

 

“I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent among you” (Joel 2:25).

 

Without pealing back the layers and revealing the good, the bad, and even exposing the downright ugly, I can say with certainty that God has shown himself to be our restorer in 2014. No, this restoration is nowhere near completion, but there are fragmented glimpses as I find myself reflecting on what have been some of the most difficult months of my life. I have screamed, cried, doubted, and given up more times than I can count. I have been scarred and broken beyond my own imperfect recognition. As God repeatedly molds these shattered pieces of clay back together, I have begun to hear him whisper, “I am the God of restoration.” Some days, this has been the only thread of hope I have clung to, afraid that anything else would ever so quickly slip through my cracked and broken hands.

 

2015?

 

“I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord” (Ps 27:13-14).

 

So, what is on the horizon for 2015? I do not really know. More college classes, further ministry experience, hopefully employment, and hopefully more consistent blogging. I stand on the threshold of the coming year, expectantly waiting for God to move, yet afraid to plan for anything too specific. Maybe my one word for 2015 should be “expectancy”?

 

What has the Lord revealed to you in 2014, and what are you looking forward to in the upcoming year? Has God stretched your faith? Has he been restoring you? Are you, like me, expectantly waiting for whatever lies ahead? As we swiftly approach this new year together, thank you for your patience in these moments of prolonged silence. Andy and I look forward to a brand-new year, and we would be honored to continue doing our part in calling each of us to a life of compassion in 2015 and beyond.