I was praying this morning, and honestly, asking God what was this year all about. As I was watching a clip today with Melissa Helser, the Holy Spirit shook me to my core with this truth: “Winters of rest and barrenness are necessary for Springs of fruitfulness and harvest.” 2016 has been hard, very hard. For the majority of this year, I felt that for every moment of beauty that was presented, pain followed close by. I always found God to be close to my broken heart, but I was starting to doubt my ability to keep moving forward because the craziest things kept happening. I would get my hopes up, and my world would violently come crashing down. I questioned the goodness of God, and doubted everything about His character. There’d been times in my life when I knew I’d missed God, but I didn’t know how to explain what was happening when you KNOW that you know that you’re doing what you’ve been told.
I don’t know the exact moment, but somewhere in the midst of realizing that I couldn’t change any of what was going on, I gave in. It was hard because I knew giving in didn’t necessarily mean that my circumstances would change, but I decided that I’d rather give into what God was doing than to be depressed over it. All He needed was my full heart. Seasons of winter really do bring such clarity, and redirect our attention back on what is important. In the moments of barrenness from this season, the Holy Spirit has taught me to heal and to love genuinely from the depths of me. It has been the moments of rest that He’s destroyed the mindset that I have to perform for Him, or for other people. It has been both the hardest and the most rewarding year of my entire life.
So, for whomever is struggling today with what the heck is going on in your life, be still. Be faithful. Be honest. I know it’s hard, but seasons of barrenness will always produce seasons of fruit. God is preparing you so that He can launch you.
“Will your grace run out
If I let you down?
Cause all I know
Is how to run.
Cause I am a sinner
If it’s not one thing, it’s another
Caught up in words
Tangled in lies
But you are a Savior
And you take brokenness aside
And make it beautiful”
I’ve never heard these lyrics before this morning, but they meet me at the very place God has been prodding at all week. Until this week, I never realized that when I’m afraid, I’ve always made the habit of running, either not wanting to make a hard decision or not wanting to deal with the consequences of my decision. I’d always leave decisions to others to make, or in situations where there wasn’t another party, I’d pull others in for “advice” ultimately, still needing them to make my decision. The Lord revealed to me that that fear was rooted in the lie that I’d be punished for a bad decision. I’d been believing that if I made the wrong decision, I was deserving of “tough love” and punishment. I thought that I was capable of wearing God out, and that one day His grace and mercy towards me would wear thin from not wanting to deal with hard decisions.
Fortunately, that’s so far from who He is. I love that He takes our brokenness aside without making us feel stupid for the lies we’ve believed. He comes in with love and casts out all of our fears. He reaffirms our identities as daughters & sons and replaces fear with confidence that we hear from Him, so the need for affirmation from other people isn’t always needed. He is the perfected form of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. We CANNOT wear Him out, and hard seasons in our lives are never fueled from punishment. It may feel like we’re walking through the darkest valley for the sake of it but trust God. He’s knows what He’s doing, even if we don’t fully understand what He’s doing.
Trust His decision in that He trusts YOU! We don’t have to fear making a wrong decision when we’re genuinely following Him. He will always protect us from what’s not for us.