It’s been 200 days since I declared 2017 my “year of Whimsy.” 200 days focusing on life, adventure, joy, passion, and action. That also means 200 days mindfully pushing away from fear, insecurity, inadequacy, and complacency. There is so much that I envisioned 2017 to be. And in God’s remarkable nature, He answered so many prayers; those realized, spoken, and softly whispered in the security of my spot. And yet He also answered the unspoken, those prayers and desired not yet realized. Tucked away behind the chanting of the enemy.
As I warned back in February, “when you proclaim a theme, be ready for The Holy Spirit to grab that theme by the celestial wings and make a way.” Well, my own words continue to feel prophetic.
I had no idea that in late 2016 when the word whimsy was springing to life on the pages of works that I thought were coincidental at best, that God was preparing the road that my feet now trod.
I had no idea that God would provide a new doctor, a new fertility plan, a new pregnancy. I also had no idea that God would use whimsy to also create a new me. One that feels more deeply, yet softer around the edges.
These past few years can be divided into two seasons; one where I cry almost daily, and the other where I’m all dried up. Surprisingly, even with all the change, May was dry, while June and July have been all wet. I don’t cry tears of pity or mourning, I simply cry out to God. I cry out in the safety of His presence most mornings while sitting alone in my office, reading His word, snuggling my green fuzzy blanket, embracing my first cup of coffee (and sometimes a Quigley).
Restoration in 2016 took the form of nonfiction and knowledge. That flame has continued to burn in 2017 with new authors and new works. I have also discovered that five minute devotionals don’t cut it. At least not for me. I can’t just read and walk away. I’m an educator after all and also a lifelong Type A student who needs implicit instructions and insight. So, I follow the path my devotional lays out making sure to indulge in long, lengthy chapters with even longer analysis. I hunker down and uncover truths that have never been obvious or apparent at first glance. And when I’m done reading, highlighting, and annotating (again, student here), I just sit. Sometimes physically sensing the minutes ticking by. I just don’t know how to respond to God. Yeah, I’m in awe. Yeah, I feel completely unworthy and at the same time completely full of grace. But I just don’t know what to say. Finally, when the words are just about to form and I open my mouth to speak, (because I have to speak to Him out loud) tears fall instead of words. In these reoccurring moments (that these days happen more often than not), I hit play on my Spotify “praise” playlist and allow the words of others to fill in my gaps. And in that sacred space, He shows up. And the tears fall. And I feel loved. And safe. And healed.
How did this happen? How did this (let’s face it) arrogant,
I-can-do-it-all-on-my-own kid (because I’ll never act my age) become this weepy, emotional mess? My conclusion. God met me where I was and grabbed my hand.
Yeah, I have been able to do a lot in my thirty-three years. A few degrees. No college debt. A rewarding career both emotionally and tangibly; 30 plus state and national yearbook accolades, Teacher of the Year, STAR teacher, and the joy of being respected by my peers and loved by my students. I’ve ran (oh so slowly, I should add) over 20 half marathons, one really long triathlon, and biked several hundred miles across Georgia and Florida. And to top it all off, I have one incredibly successful marriage where my husband is not only my best friend, but my most trusted confidant and life coach.
In my mind, I am the one who has done all those things. True, I prayed my way through all of them. Those who have ever run or ridden beside me can attest to that. But those accomplishments still felt like my own (told you I was arrogant).
God has instilled in me such a work ethic, such drive, such determination. And this year, He has also brought me to my knees with such humility. For all my pushing and pursuing, I cannot will my way into what I want most. I cannot work my way into a miracle. I cannot hustle my way into motherhood.
So instead I do what He has wanted me to do all along. I simply surrender. In the stillness of the mornings, whether here, in Las Vegas, or in Indy, I cry out to Him in complete surrender. I read, I pray, and I cry.
When I began 2017, I asked God for three things.
I prayed for adventure (because I was restless).
I prayed for motherhood (because I felt empty).
I prayed for peace (because only God can heal restless and empty).
God, in His infinite grace and glory, has already granted all three. And it has only been 200 days.
Yeah, if I was my life’s own architect, I would have laid my foundation differently. I would have avoided the trails, the miscarriages, the disappointments, and steered way clear of the waiting. But that foundation built on ease and arrogance would have crumbled.
With 164 days left in this whimsical adventure, I sit in this moment praising the one who saw it all coming. I am embarking on one of the biggest adventures of my life with a new career and an invigorated sense of passion (and self). I had a miraculously pregnancy that brought exceeding joy and hope. That joy may have been but a fleeting moment, but that hope will remain. And lastly, I sit firmly in His presence with contentment and peace that can only be attributed to Him.
I don’t know what August, September, or October will bring. I don’t know what God will reveal in chill winter air of November and December. For the first time in my life I’m letting go of making plans (I’m sure my counselor in standing in ovation) and instead I’m reaching out for the one who holds my plans.
That doesn’t mean that my anxiety has just magically fallen away. That doesn’t mean that in moments of stress I won’t try to MacGyver my way into order. That simply means that after 200 days, I’m finally embracing whimsy. (Ok, maybe I’m a slow learner).
Whimsy doesn’t have to be your word, dear friends, to still learn from her.
Embrace whimsy by taking risks.
Embrace whimsy by saying “yes.”
Embrace whimsy by failing big.
Embrace whimsy by changing the world.
The reality is, we are all more capable of creating the life God has called us to live.
My prayers, dear friends, is that it’s one of whimsy and adventure.
The Big Bang Theory, Series 03 Episode 23 – The Lunar Excitation