This is not a blog I really wanted to write. It’s an admission of failure. Wait, that doesn’t seem like the right word. More of an I didn’t try all that hard, maybe.
I did that whole one word thing this year, remember? My word has been TURN for 2016. Its a good word and one I felt was chosen for me. There was a promise of hope attached to it. I believed it was a good way to filter the year.
Except I didn’t do that.
Honestly? I got good at writing about turning and figuring how it should play out but then I would back away. Turn away. TURN was supposed to be about change for the better. It was supposed to be about growth. An opportunity to TURN and open myself to a few things I found difficult. I ran from it, taking giant steps backwards instead of moving ahead. I didn’t really want to change.
I wasn’t just running from those difficult turns, I was running away from the One asking me to TURN to these hard things. I wasn’t sure I trusted Him anymore.
Back in January, I read these lines from Louie Giglio’s book, I Am Not But I Know I Am, which I’ve gone back to on and off over the year. He writes, “No matter how crazy the plot line of our sinful choices, God twists our turns into an occasion to show that He is better still.” (p. 83) I had underlined the word” turns.” That was my focus. Looking at that quote again it’s the last part of the sentence that stands out to me today.
I think I should have underlined “He is better still.”
We can only run for so long and then we hit a wall. We can’t outrun God. We think we can but really do we want to? Being able to outrun God would signify we were lost, never to be found. Thankfully nothing is hidden from God. Ever. We can try and hide but we won’t succeed. He knows our comings and goings, our every thought. Psalm 139
TURN has been narrowed down to this one question for me: Do I believe “He is better still?”
Giglio is talking about how God redeems our mistakes, redeems us and through it all shows the world, He is more than our messes, more than us. He is God Almighty, I AM. But more than that, He is the best gift we’ll ever receive.
I know that He is I AM. I have a solid Sunday school background behind me after all. My question is more personal. Do I trust him enough in my own heart, in our relationship, to be I AM in my life? To trust him with the crap, the suffering, the hurts, the joys, the adventure? Do I think “He is better still” than all the sins I love to hang on to? Because if I did, I’d let them go, wouldn’t I? Do I think “He is better still”, than all the successes and achievements I can garner? They would mean little if I did. Do I think “He is better still” than the wounds I like to nurse? I’d let Him heal them if I did.
I know what the answers should be to those questions. We all do. The question is, are we willing to live them out? And there it is. Free will. He won’t make us. It’s up to us.
Will we choose to TURN to the difficult and hard places or will we run? For me it’s not a one time answer, this is a daily thing. I have to choose everyday, which is why my answer to the question has to be Yes, “He is better still.” If it’s not, I will always choose me.
And that friends, has been my ongoing battle with the word TURN. Obviously I’m not done with this word. It’s going with me into 2017 although I’d love to kick it to the curb! Instead I can see it morphing into something else. I’ll guess I’ll have to wait and see.
If you chose a word for 2016 how did it go for you? What were your battles and your successes? I’d love to hear about them!