What a year! The peculiar stresses began mid December, 2016, just before Noel returned from the mission field in Papua New Guinea. A series of events occurred that tipped us over, spilling out history, knowledge, and circumstances that culminated into a brilliant shift in our lives. Walking through it all held every level of understanding, wisdom, and feelings we have. We plunged into anguish, hurt, fear, frustration & anger. However, having spent years in deep personal relationship with our friend & Lord, Jesus, we turned to him with our feelings, thoughts, desires, putting ourselves into his care & receiving his guidance.
As always, the unfolding of life through the year has been an opening of one gift after another as we engaged fully in the adventure before us. We railed & travailed, laughed in release of our fragile human nature, rested in wonder at God's almost unfathomable love & kindnesses, as he reshaped us, which reminds me of this poem I wrote years ago . . .
Shattering my graven images, you
twist and stretch my
You abort my bented, mortal being,
ending all I was and would have been.
Yet, as you rip and tear and cudgel thus,
I am certain of your perfect love.
---- Cynthia Randall
A benefit of suffering through this season was the experience of relative calm and peace that prevailed, rising, bubbling to the surface of stormy waters in which I feared I was drowning. I would rise to the surface again and again, taking deep breaths of refreshing, empowering air (I call it Kingdom air), finding a rhythm in resting in the treading of water. I found I had well developed effective habits that automatically engaged, bringing patience, calm, rest.
Willingness to continue in confidence is now my modus operandi (MO). Joy, and my ability to increase it and return to it in stress, is a big factor in my relationship with the Living God. I go directly into His courts where worship is merging with Him, my Abba, and, my friend. God is the foundation of my confidence, long tested with results of 100% purity, holiness, power, peace. There is nothing else in this world that has proven that effective & life-giving.
Co-Laboring with Jesus is where my willingness becomes action, it is my choice, every moment of the day, that makes it so. In these moments are the fullness of God in continuous flow, to bring life, love, peace to every living thing I come in contact with. This process is surprisingly easy to test as there is peace, power, creativity, or not; there is love, or not; there is seeing others with his eyes, or not. When I find I am angry, hurt, vengeful, sarcastic, escaping, I have stepped out of that flow & into the sarc, my dead end [the world abounds with clever counterfeits of power, all leading to dead ends].
In pondering my journey through 2017 I find myself filled with satisfaction, appreciation, & joy. I have consistently experienced the fruits of my labor with increases in: emotional capacities; wisdom in all areas of my life; life giving love flowing out & returning; creative intelligence in every area that brings me delight; physical health, which has empowered everything else; Peace, which is not possible for me except in relationship with God.
2017 has been all about God: the extraordinary, supernatural friendship that continues to reveal, then heal every hurt, who attends to all concerns & answers every question of love I have asked or heard of. Only He can see every single one of us complete & whole, offering empowerment to make it so, regardless of our mean history or our condition at any given moment. Oh, that I have drawn more near to loving you in loving Him, is the best I could hope for.
The end of 2017 has given me a new capacity to stretch as I reach for more in 2018.