Happy New Year

From Surrendered to Satisfied…

The New Year commences.

Such an interesting holiday.

I find there are 2 paces to New Years…

1—A rushed frenzy

2—A sleepy reflective quietness

In seasons past, I was often the former. I would try to glean every ounce of fun, every ounce of merriment, every ounce of celebration I could muster. It was often met with too much.

Too much food.

Too much wine.

Too many social experiences.

Too much.

Last year, I chose the second pace—a sleepy reflective quiet holiday.

I specifically retreated with a sweet friend to Waco, but because so much of the year had been frenzied, I army-crawled into the new year barely moving.

This year was different.

It was still the 2nd pace—sleepy, reflective, quiet and slow.

But my year was more restful and allowed for the reflection my heart desired.

I just returned from a similar 2-day retreat back in Waco.

Back with the same sweet friend—I slept, I drank good food—but not too much. I drank good wine—but not too much. I soaked in bubble baths until my skin was pruney—maybe too much, but it was awesome.

I watched movies.

I read two books.

I journaled and wrote and spent time with Jesus looking back at my year.

I talked and cried and laughed with my friend.

It was my favorite New Year.

As I look back, I have much to be grateful for, some to grieve.

2022—like all years—was what it was supposed to be, and not.

There was beauty baked into every breath by the King above.

And yet, we are still East of Eden—still not in the rhythm of life our hearts long for and our God designed for us.

We wait in eagerness for more—

More of Eden,

More than anything, more of Jesus.

As I pray for my year, set my goals and make my plans, I am consistently reminded that I plan, but God orders my steps.

My word for the year 2022 was Surrender.

I chose it more out of defeat than anything.

As I waved my white flag and ventured from 2021 to 2022, after 3 years of hard, I chose the word my therapist and I refer to as my Christian cuss word, almost as a joke.

Or a test—

I felt like God had left me empty last year, and I wondered if I surrendered fully if He would take more.

Probs wouldn’t recommend challenging the King of Kings,

But my feisty spirit does it–even when defeated; so I guess I should be honest about it, huh?

I hate surrender because it acknowledges weakness, and in my mind, losing.

But I think what I learned this year is that it doesn’t have to.

Or rather, yes, it acknowledges weakness–

And it does require sacrifice–a yielding of my will to His.

But within that weakness…in accepting my frailty, my limitedness, I get to embrace the strength of what God offers me.

Me shakily opening my hands allows the Lord to graciously give me the things my soul longs for most.

To be surrendered to Him,

Is to embrace Him.

To be surrendered to Him,

Means to stop resisting Him.

To be surrendered to Him,

It means grasping hold of the most generous and loving One of all time.

Surrendering to Him means receiving so much. Much of Him.

I learned this through the sweet patience and generosity of my Savior. Through His persistent kindness and presence.

He exceeded my expectations this year–not in a spoiling way. In a way of design.

There was hardship.

There was pain.

But I was holding onto Him as opposed to sitting with my back to Him, eyes clenched in fear.

Fear was present, but I was able to receive His comfort.

I still resisted Him, but I didn’t recoil with His soft touch.

Surrender is the best word I have chosen thus far.

As I look ahead to 2023, I am choosing Satisfy as my word.

Boldly asking God.

For what?

For all.

For everything my heart longs for–trusting that He knows it.

Trusting that my desires though often broken can be molded by Him.

Trusting that however crooked my desires are, they preceded from a desire He put there in Eden and longs to restore to me in their redeemed state.

Contentment–satisfaction- is a word we are called to as believers.

We are called to it, and yet longing remains.

There is a restlessness on this side of Eden that is almost a symptom as opposed to a willful rebellion.

A symptom of Genesis 3.

A symptom in not being Home.

A symptom in this temporary wandering—Our vision of Jesus is veiled.

We are not yet face-to-face as we crave to be.

Despite the limitations of this world– I do believe that God wants us to experience Him this side of Heaven.

Though it is in part, not the full;

He wants us to chase after Him,

As He chases after us.

And as we do, our hearts, I believe will grow more and more content in Him.

Our hearts will always look Heavenward until we experience the fullness,

But we will grow more and more satisfied.

More and more content.

That is my hope for this year…

To continue to yearn for Him,

To continue to seek Him,

And in that Holy craving to receive from Him a satisfaction that goes beyond what this world can offer me.

I was reminded of the famous passage in John 4 this morning–

Jesus meeting up with the Samaritan woman.

The interaction went like this…

Jesus: “Will you give me a drink?”

The woman (with shock in her voice): “How can You ask me for a drink?”

Jesus: “If you knew the gift of God and who it was that asked you, you would have asked Him and He would give you living water.”

(She is confused, so He clarifies).

Jesus: “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again. But whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling in eternal life.”

So,

I am asking God to satisfy me as the psalmist modeled for us.

I am believing that Jesus really is the Only One who can.

I am seeking to lay aside the desires that are framed more by what the world says and is more a reflection of fear and pain than of hope and joy.

I am choosing to believe He can.

Satisfy Lord.

Cheers to 2023.

xo

Crystal

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