Monday, February 09, 2015

The word I didn't want


The year was so bad, I didn't even ask.

I couldn't ask. I couldn't speak to Him about it, the tradition we bloggers have to choose a "word" for the year.

In the past, we'd settle on one together, happy anticipation flowing from what was to what was to come. All those other years seemed to arrive with the shining glow of promise.

But promises seemed dim and distant this new year's. Still existing, but hazy and threatening to disappear all together.

This time, the year turned over slowly, like a child heavy with sleep, sluggish to wake. I was sluggish to embrace it. And when I did finally turn to face 2015, I felt myself shrink from a hope that might disappoint.

Of course, my Father knew my wounds, my fears, my weariness. He saw my heart balled up, on it's side. He spoke anyway, on His initiative, not mine. His grip on me is always stronger than my grip on Him.

I thought, "Stupid word thing."
He said, "It's Full."
I said, "I'm not asking. And what does that even mean?"
"Just, Full."
"I'm not playing the game this year. I don't want it. That's not even a good word."
(my eyes blur just typing it out)
"Because you've known a lot of Empty lately."
And then obviously, I cried at that, saying nothing, so painfully aware of the steady emptying I'd been living for a length of time I could no longer measure.

"And this year, what I have for you is Full."

2014 meant an emptying of our lives on so many levels. From income to time to health to faith, it seemed all our resources, all familiar securities, healthy or not, dwindled consistently and seemed to have no bottom. We expected God to wait till the usual last minute to dramatically rescue with a metaphorical shout of "BUT I LOVE YOU AND WILL NEVER FORSAKE YOU!" However, we thought our last minute was last month, and the month before that, and the month before that. The fact that the emptying was so continual and so unrelenting made our heads spin.      

And in many ways, we are still spinning. Still confused and feeling emptied. Still waiting for His plans to be made clear.

I still don't really want the word, because disappointment, dispersed over a long period of time, becomes a deafening command to stop wishing so hard. But I want God, more than ever. I don't pray for His presence because I know I do have that; He's closer than my breath. That's one comfort I never lost. And I want to believe. Not that He will someday trade ashes for beauty, but that He is right this moment doing exactly that. I want to believe that all along, I misjudged when the "last minute" really was.

I want to believe that January meant a flipping of the hour glass. And so the empty side just waits to become full.



  1. This is beautiful, Leslie. I too know the pangs of "empty"; Your words "disappointment, dispersed over a long period of time, becomes a deafening command to stop wishing so hard" describe this perfectly. I will pray for you when I think of you and I'm thankful for your willingness to share your heart.

  2. It´s good to have our hopes rested in God because He is the only one who can support us through the problems of our lives.
    Kisses and God bless you.

  3. 1 Peter 1:6-9
    6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
    Romans 8:24
    24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have?

  4. I've been there.. I am there.. all I know is that the valleys that seem deep, ever widening..vast..empty.. in those times we are growing and changing. It's small and feels like nothing's moving, no strength is being gained. Those times, when I've looked back, I see a path where the lord pulled me in and brought me through. Sometimes instead of hearing, it's going to be alright, ' there's light at the end of the tunnel" it's better to say, HE IS THERE. IN THIS. and sometimes, just knowing that, is what gets me thru the dark.

    You have been a tremendous encouragement to me as I've followed you for a while now. Keep on friend.. keep shining your light. (HUGS)

  5. I just want you to know that I am praying for you. Whatever you are walking thru, He is there, and He will never leave you or forsake you no matter what it feels like. <3