4. I hope I learned this year an iota better how to cry from my heart not just all that wailing on my bed. It's a Beautiful God pursuing me when I was unlovely. "I will give her a door of hope." Hosea 2:14-15. Oh, I needed hope this year in the midst of real relationships. And God said: I'll have mercy on "Miss No Mercy." He did. He is.
5. My love for the church grew immensely this year. I want so much to be on a church staff someday. It's the cry of my heart. I know I am called to the ministry. A firmer conviction grew within me to not heal wounds lightly saying, Peace! Peace! All is good! Jeremiah 6:14. I love the next verse for it speaks conviction to me: "They have no shame over their sins, for they don't even know how to blush." Jeremiah 6:15. I learned a little more about blushing this year over what is not right in me.
6. "I send my heart up to Thee. All my heart." Elizabeth Barrett Browning. That's what you have to do when the person in your life longest takes your hand for the last time and breathes his last breath on earth. Transferred into the Kingdom, the day he lived for. Surreal. It's over here. And now we hold in our hands a flood of memories. I hope that we become stronger in dependence in our loss.
8. Reading blogs like yours and Cottrell and Tripp and Buechner and Metaxas and ... I love that you guys don't move to "fix" people or give steps & solutions for life. You offer genuine realness in a webworld that offers to move to fix me. I want to wrestle with words and life. I want to glean from a curious heart that draws me to God. That makes me want to press in and lean on God and find Him in my need. The people I find here hold a present awareness of their own brokenness and that is just beautiful. You understand a little more than most people about the evil that lies within all of us.
9. Nothing in my life has given me words, given me direction, given me life like one imperfect author I read every year. Deut 32:2. I read him over and over and again this year and it happened all over again! Oh! I'm still a mess but a little more of a glorious mess than ever. I think I am doing well in the midst of extremely difficult circumstances, holding fast to a Good God and finding a little deeper rest in Him this 2014. I'm not the same person that I started out this year to be. I give credit to that author who helped me find a little more wider the real Author. Reading books is like having a weighty conversation with a pretend friend. Works for me.
10. Think I somewhat believed a little more that God is at work in me. Way too much I feel that I am waiting for something to happen. The truth is: it is already happening. Daniel 4:23---God is laying me low that I may know. His Strength in me. For those times this year when things have not changed which has surfaced in all 12 months.
Merry Christmas and Happy New from The Brandons