January 5th, 2010

Goodbye and Hello

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Goodbye and Hello

As all of you know, we’ve recently entered a new year. 2009 is gone. 2010 is here. Yesterday was also my birthday. My 26th birthday. For some reason, 26 seems a lot older than 25. Much more adult. And….old. Not that I’m getting shorter or graying (no wait, I am graying), I know I’m still quite young and have a lot to learn, but when people ask me how old I am, I’m going to have to say 26. Twenty-six! That seems much more weighty than 25.

Since we’ve entered a new decade and I just turned Old, I’ve been thinking about the past year. I can’t think of any other year that’s had so much change. 2009 hasn’t been the year with the most significant events, those would probably be 2006, when I married, and 2004, when I found freedom from addiction and finally got salvation, and 1996, when my parents divorced. But 2009 has been a year of huge shifts in life—in direction, in desire, in lifestyle.

For the first six month of 2009, we were focused on what we wanted, the American dream. We began trying to have a baby in January of 2008, and by 2009 I was frustrated that there was no baby. I was also hoping to go to grad school. We started looking for a house in April. We’d been in the same apartment for three years. Nothing was working. I was depressed and confused and apathetic.

On the positive side of things, Israel had a great job. We’d gotten involved in a wonderful church and we were making new friends, finally.

Then, at the end of July, I got an email that changed everything. My friend Pam wanted to know if I would help her do a video project at Black Forest Academy. In one day, I read everything I could find on the BFA website. In one week, we’d decided to apply for positions at this boarding school in Germany. At the end of August, we knew we’d be moving to Kandern to work for Black Forest Academy. September was a whirlwind of meetings, speaking and trying to raise support. In October, we realized we wouldn’t be leaving when we hoped and Israel quit his job. In November, we sold practically everything we owned and moved out of our apartment, the only home we’d known as a married couple. In December, we moved in with friends.

It’s amazing how quickly things can change. I mean, this was not in our plan. We hadn’t even heard of Black Forest Academy until my friend emailed. But the unexpectedness of it all doesn’t change the significance of what God is doing right now.

This is right. This—this crazy, sudden, sell-all-you stuff-and-move-to-another-country thing—is right. It’s clear that God has given us this opportunity to help BFA with media and invest in missionary kids. Whether or not we ever get to Germany (though I think we will), we believe that we are doing what God wants us to right now. All of the best things in my life have just plopped on my lap—freedom from sexual addiction (I’d pretty much given up on ever finding it), At the Well (a women’s sexuality ministry), and Israel. They’ve all been unexpected and surprising. Looking back over the great things God has done in my life, I can see the extraordinary possibilities of this opportunity. We’ve already experienced so much change, and ministry and love, and we’re not even there yet! I’m eager for the transformation and truth we’ll find when we step foot in Germany.

This year, I’ve been reminded that God is good, that he has plans for me, and that they are better than my own. I’ve learned that I need to wait on him. I’ve learned that God’s goodness doesn’t mean he’s going to give me everything I want in the way I want. I’ve been reminded that my life is about God, not me.

I’m not one for resolutions. I never keep them or take them very seriously. But here’s what I hope for myself in 2010, while I am 26.

That I am wiser than I was at 25

I want to rely on God more fully. I want to be more patient and trusting. I want to remember that, just because things aren’t going the way I expect them to, doesn’t mean I should give up. I want to keep a broader view of my life, so that I don’t get discouraged by the details.

That I love better

I want to not give up on people. I want to be patient, and kind, and encouraging. I want to remember that just because I think someone needs something (a relationship, a revelation, an experience) doesn’t mean they do, or that they are ready for it right now. I want to see people the way God does and love them with hope and perseverance.

That I am more balanced

I need balance in my life. I tend to get REALLY excited about one thing, and neglect everything else. Then, once the excitement has passed, I forget that one thing and never pick it up again. I don’t think that’s the best way for me to live. I want to learn to do the things I should, as well as the things I want. I want to eat well—healthily and tastily. I want to be active. I want to pursue people, but honor my need for reflection and quite. I want to work hard, but still have times of rest and fun.

I’ve been working on all of these things for several years now, and they have yet to be perfected. I don’t expect them to be perfected in 2010, but I would like my life to look a bit more like the one who gave it to me.

May you experience the deep love and grace of Jesus this year.

4 Responses to “Goodbye and Hello”

Comments

  • 26 is definitely NOT old… but for some reason 25/26 is the age when you start to gain new perspective. Tiffany and I had a whole discussion about this the other day. :O)
    I so appreciate your willingness to be open about where God is working in your life. It is encouraging. I cannot wait to see what incredible new things He has for you in 2010.
    As someone who has a lot of “in the waiting” time I can say that you won’t regret the waiting minutes/days/years as long as you spend them seeking His will and not putting life and ministry on pause until you get what you want.
    Press on girl! God is going to do some amazing things in you this year and I cannot wait to see it!
    Gina

  • David says:

    This was very encouraging to read, Dani. Thank you for being open and willing to be known. And, I agree with Gina. You’re not old. I turned 29 the same day you turned 26. Now, that’s old. Only one more year in the 20s. But, God has something for each of his children each year, no matter how young or old. Sarah and I love you guys and are with you in your journey. So glad to be your friends!

  • Anh says:

    I enjoyed reading your blog and got you know more about you and your journey. Patience is a gift and we wish it came under the Christmas tree. If it could be that easy. God is executing his plan for you and Israel and there’s more to come.

    Age is just a number and your number isn’t up. I was 26 when I got married, 28 & 32 when Jacob & Javen was born and now 37 with our twins. It’s all in God’s timing. I never thought about how old will I be when something happens…then I’d never do it!

    Continue to keep spirits high. I’ll be praying for your journey!

  • Glory says:

    I am proud of you, Dani! I really admire you…

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