Saturday, January 4, 2014

Resolution: Restored Relationship

I don't usually make New Years resolutions. Not because I'm afraid I won't accomplish what I set my mind on. It has more to do with my world view, my life view, which has been radically transformed. 

I tend to see the New Year as a re-set button. A time to evaluate lessons learned (usually through mistakes or messes) and a time to forgive myself for every place I fell short.  It's a time to take an honest look at what I can do better- throwing off all guilt- a time to look at where improvement is reasonable within the boundaries of the path marked out for me (in this season). 

It's also a time for me to ask God how He wants to work in and through me in the coming year. A time to make sure my connection to Him is secure after the flurry of the holidays. A time to nestle in and drink deeply of His abundant grace and relentless love. 

In His spirit, built on the foundation of grace and continuity (not merely the momentum of the upswing) I now seek a way to chronicle my journey. A promise for the new year, not just to myself, but grafted within connection to the Lover of my soul.

Christening my commitment seems appropriate, so I share this:  my resolution is relationship- that powerful, two way, life giving force. Divine electricity creating a conduit in and through human flesh- purifying, empowering, transforming. 

I have become convinced that anything not centered in redeemed relationality has missed the mark. The point of the cross was not so we could be religious. Not so we could craft buildings and create traditions. Not even so we could sing songs or gather in a community that believes in a Savior. From the manger to the cross, the purpose has always been restoration of relationship. 

Relationship is the starting place and the finish line. Connectivity within the One who loves us most is the only way to wellness, the only way to healing, the only lasting hope. 

I've known the power of a great sermon, the thrill of a beautiful song, the steadiness of a life of quiet worship- but what has changed my heart, saved me from discouragement, and rescued me from depression is relationship with God Himself. No person and no thing can fill that void. Only God's presence in a life will effect change. 

The lifestyle lived in drawing close moment by moment opens pathways to learning, crossing boundaries, carving changes into my spirit and soul- deeply affecting how I see myself and the world around me. Especially how I view people. We are all sinners saved only by grace. Want to change the world around you? The law won't change people. Telling someone they are a sinner is a moot point. We are each and every one of us flawed and no one needs more voices passing judgement. 

What changes a life is relationship. The right to speak into a life is earned, and always, always, always through a relationship based on grace. It's how God, Himself, began. Relentless grace that confounded the religious community of the day. Hard lessons, yes- but changed hearts are often born in the fire. 


What transformed my understanding of God and brought acceptance of His purpose for my life was when God met me in the midst of unspeakable sorrow. At the end of all I ever hoped for, at the end of myself, here a conduit opened for the Spirit of God to cradle and heal. When God met me in my grief I found only unconditional love and acceptance. He changed everything. He changed me.

Not all at once, but the journey began in His presence and was marked by forgiveness and learning the power boundaries bring. He hems us in for a reason- so we can be healed and set free. Only our untamed God can create something beautiful from our ashes. All I had to do was surrender my ways and nestle into His.

My prayer as I move forward: Change my heart. Continue to root out anything that keeps me from living to the fullest in and through You, Oh Lord, my Hope and Healer. Order my steps, Be my strength, Make me whole.

Joy comes in the morning, yes, but only as I choose intimacy with Him as my foundation.  Relationship with the Living God is everything.  He is my All in All.

~Just Me 

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