Something had to die. Things always die in the winter. Our discontent – yours, mine – we’ve all experienced it in one form or another. While searching through Twitter, a couple of blogs, and contemplating a church sermon on “God’s Greatest Desire” (Morris, 2013). This phrase struck me: “we’re halfway through the winter.” The middle is often the hardest place to be. You can’t go back. I mean you could, but it would be pointless and maybe fruitless. You can only go forward. So it is with winter.
It will end. Death will end. Life will spring again. Newness like dew will be upon your heart, mind, body, and soul. But still…something had to die before it came to be. And I am undone. What is that thing for you? For me, it’s a notion I carried for a long time about identity and belonging. Funny, it always seems to boil back down to those two themes. The notion had to die so I could really begin to learn to live.
I am no expert. I’m only living one day at a time just as you are. I am on a new journey. I’m looking for a new opportunity for career, living, being, doing, and creating. It’s multi-faceted. I thought I was looking for one thing, but it turns out I was looking for and found something different, and unexpected. Until my notions of identity dies, I wasn’t aware of how inauthentically I had been living. You been there too? I know I’m not the only one. So many of us get caught in the “do-ing” of life that simply “be-ing” becomes a very distant second on the scale-of-what-really-matters. Something had to die.
My notions, my old ways of thinking were a hindrance to my own growth and development, in fact I would sadly, but honestly say they may have even sabotaged what I might have been or could have done. I mean, I really thought I was being an “original,” but the more time I spend pondering, journaling, praying, and listening, the more I realize I have yet to really be. But for grace, I can still be.
Yes, it is halfway through the winter, but there is a hope stirring in the undertow of the deep – that which lies within us that we have yet to actualize as gift, talent, purpose, being, and identity. It’s beginning to rise up. In the middle shines a ray of light beckoning forward movement. Finding yourself in the middle points to momentum and progress. Sure it might be slow, but the fact that I’m in the middle, is hope-full. What about you?
Are you beginning to see things differently too? Are you beginning to have a new perspective that speaks life in the midst of the storming chaos? Are you letting go of old, lifeless notions so you can embrace the good that is about to come? Are you putting feet to your faith and stepping out or into those things that have always been hidden in the depths of your heart? Yeah, me too. We’re on this journey together. Don’t you dare give up! You’ve invested so much already. In learning to just be, I find I am dreaming bigger dreams fueled with a passion to see them fulfilled. And it doesn’t matter if they don’t make sense because the dreams are mine. Your dream is your dream. It is worth the pursuit. It is worth describing. It is worth defining. It is worth being allowed to grow. You are worth it. Even if you fail, you can say “I gave it my all.” And you’ll learn, you’ll grow, you’ll become fearless and more purposed – indeed … more you.
I’m going to let procrastination die this winter. It’s already caused enough damaged. What’s being birthed and coming to life now? The passionate desire to see the dream fulfilled – one day at a time. I’m going to let authenticity really take old. Being fake will die this winter. More than anything else, will be the birth of identity – the identity of who I always was because it has always been who I am. Everything I do operates and flows from it. I don’t know what it is for you, but for me it is this: I am a child of God. God is my Father, Abba, Papa. He has loved me with an everlasting love, an ardent love– long before I was even thinking about Him, He was thinking about me. This changes so many things like my notion of belonging and being a part of something.
Here’s the truth: God “chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will” (Ephesians 1:4-5…read the whole chapter, it’s amazing). I’m flabbergasted. I’ve read this verse so many times in my life. It never sunk in. It resided in my head but not in my heart, but something this January of 2013 is different. Halfway through the winter, a revelation was born in me, in my heart – I am a daughter. I am a treasure. I am beloved. I was loved before I could even articulate love. I was chosen before I was even aware I was ever wanted.
This same truth belongs to you. You belong. You were chosen. You are wanted. You are loved. Let it sink in- real deep. In this wintery moment where things seem bleak, your senses dulled, and your heart exasperated – grasp a strong, tight hold on these words” God has “have loved you with an everlasting love; [and has] drawn you with unfailing kindness” (Jeremiah 31:3). He wants to be your God. He wants you to be His child. He wants to love you with a nothing-you-can-do-can-make-Him-love-you-less kind of forever-love. He wants that for all of us. Are you wrestling with the idea that someone genuinely loves and desires you? Yes!!! It’s true. It has been true. It will always be true. You belong! The invitation is open.
The invitation has been extended to you:
- the reckless
- the lost
- the smarty-pants
- the broken
- the downtrodden
- the marginalized
- the outcast
- the left out
- the ignored
- the brittle
- the orphan
- the lonely
- the introvert
- the extrovert
- the I’m-not-so-sure-about-this
- the wanderers
- the black sheep
- the wayward
- the backslidden
- the restless
- the weary
- the wrecked
- the abused
- the imperfect
- the forlorn
- the hopeless
- the despondent
- the unhappy
- the…_________(fill in the blank)
I think you get the picture. To God, your history is irrelevant. Your past does not taint His picture of you. God is not afraid to love hard and strong and passionately. He’s not holding who you were and are against you. It’s YOU! Plain and simple, God WANTS you – always has and always will. Need a little help with believing this truth? Read the bible from beginning to end. It is a love story, a story of redemption and grace. It is the relentless pursuit of a Father for His children. God is after you!
I don’t know about you, but my choice now is to believe. Believe that God is who He says He is. Believe and belong. Sons and daughters we are. We’re halfway through the winter, but a fresh spring and newness of life is coming and is now here. What will you bury so that you can move forward? What old ways of thinking will you let die, so that you can really live? Don’t be afraid.
Now, go live by just…being! Let that being become what you do. It was always who you were.
Morris, Robert. “God’s Greatest Desire.” Sermon. Gateway Church. Southlake. January 27, 2013. Retrieved January 28, 2013 from http://gatewaypeople.com/sermons/151636.
Verses retrieved January 28, 2013 from http://www.biblegateway.com/.
Roach, Marion. “Halfway through the winter.” Phrase. From “Your New Best Friend: The Deadline Calendar.” Retrieved January 28, 2013 from http://marionroach.com/.