Go ahead: a word for 2020

Every morning since about October, I’ve been getting up early, propping up my pillows and reaching for my Bible and my journal. I’m not going to lie, some mornings I scroll Facebook more than I read (until today, when I deleted the app from my phone!), or I scribble down all those morning words and not read at all.
When I finally finished the book of Job in my One Year Bible reading app (that I’ve been working through for almost two years now) and hit Proverbs, it completely held my attention. I haven’t missed a day.
Okay God, I’m listening.
Wisdom, personified as Lady Wisdom has my imagination on overdrive!
Imagine, Lady Wisdom, dancing across eternity, before the beginning of time, watching as God “hung the tapestry of the heavens and stretched out the horizon of the earth” she was there, “close to the Creator’s side as his master artist.”*
Wisdom, I’m pursuing you this year.

So, yesterday morning was no different. I heard my husband up and about and busy getting ready for work. I rolled and stretched as I heard him turn the coffee machine on, and then I blearily sat to prop up my pillows for the first time this year. I was ready to write a 2020 manifesto of sorts, ready to write the vision and make it plain, ready to put some goals and ideas on paper.

Opening my Bible to Proverbs Chapter 16 I was wonderstruck.

“Go ahead and make all the plans you want, but its the Lord who will ultimately direct your steps…
Before you do anything, put your trust totally in God and not in yourself.
Then every plan you make will succeed.” **

Do you ever just know when something or someone is telling you something?
Like, when something you were oblivious to before suddenly becomes something you see everywhere?

The timing of this verse was divinely orchestrated coincidence—a confirmation of His voice.
The reminder I needed that was as simple as the PUSH sign on a heavy glass door. Approaching the door your eyes are darting all around to find the way, so you don’t look like an idiot in front of people when you get to the door and pull instead of push. You find the little sign as you get there and glide right through with relief.

This verse was that for me. I knew there was a way for 2020, I just hadn’t worked it out just yet.
Until I read those verses, that sign. I can walk through the doors now and know I’m not going to get it wrong.
I’m not going to be embarrassed before the eyes of anyone watching me, because I know the way now.

Before you do anything.
Before you make a move.
Before you speak.
Before you accept.
Before you plan.
Before you give up.
Before your best yes.
Before you rise, move, sign, write, abandon, begin, decide…

Put your trust in God.

So, I’m going ahead in 2020.
I’m going to make all the plans, but I won’t be putting my trust in myself—I don’t even know which way to open a glass door, why would I put trust in myself?
I’m going to trust in the One who goes before me, who knows all the things, and who causes my plans to succeed.

xx

* (Read Proverbs 8 in The Passion Translation!)
** Proverbs 16:1,3 TPT

transitions and transplants

At the time of writing, it is 34 days, 9 hours and 50 minutes until the clock ticks over into a new year.
A new decade.
Twenty years ago, I was 15 and we were entering into a new millennium. I remember feeling the weight of it; there was a sense that I was living in an important time in history.
It was an important time in my own story. At the end of Year 10, I changed schools and ultimately changed the course of my life—the path I followed lead me to find Jesus, and lifelong friends, and myself and the church community where I met the man I would marry, only a few years after graduating.
I sometimes wonder what would have happened had I not made the decision to move schools, to seek a
fresh start.

This year I’m beginning to feel that weightiness again. The brink of a new decade feels heavy, important.
I sense the rapid passing of time, and there’s an urgency and intention that meets me in that space.
Maybe it’s because I’m no longer 15 but 35.
It could also be that this year has been just as transitional and profound as the year I started a new school.
This year has been uncomfortable and thrilling, frustrating and tiring and elating.
For the first time in 13 years, I shifted from the zone of work-from-home mum, to having an outside the home job—no small thing. Then, Daniel started a new job, after being in his job for almost twenty years—all this after he had worked hard for years to get a Diploma, and a Builders license and we’d almost given up hope.
This year has been so full of changes, and transitions and newness and adjustment.

We’ve unravelled and unlearned. We’ve been undone and been re-done and laughed till we cried.
We’ve worked as a team and high-fived each other every step of the way, but, it’s been hard.

A couple of weeks ago I stopped dead in my lounge room—I felt as if I had been slapped in the face.
Transplanting.
There’s a transplanting that is taking place. My fiddle leaf had outgrown it’s pot. It was root bound. I had to find a new pot so that its roots could stretch out, so that it could begin to flourish again.
You see, I’d given it everything that it needed to thrive. It had water, good soil, the spot near the front window with the bright morning light. Regardless of all of the perfect elements, it had outgrown the space it was in, and if I didn’t transplant it to another pot, it wouldn’t survive.
It was in that moment in my lounge room I realised that sometimes we outgrow spaces, and that we can’t keep shrinking to keep ourselves there. We can’t stay small.
We can’t stay in doubt or in fear or in that place of concern for what others might think.
Sure, there’s a bit of trauma with a transplant, my poor fiddle definitely had a little shock.
When I slipped it out of the pot it had been in for too many years, its roots were densely curled around themselves, and so very squished.
The new pot got a load of fresh soil, and I had to forcefully pull apart some of the roots as a reminder—you don’t need to stay small, I know this hurts a bit now, but it’s going to be so much better in this bigger place. (I know you talk to your indoor plants too.)
Now it’s thriving again, unfurling new leaves in bright green, and not drooping sadly anymore.

The transplant is hard. Removing ourselves from spaces that limit us, lid us, and restrict our growth can be a shock.
But we need to remember that there is so much more ahead, in larger vessels where we can flourish.

One of my favourite life-verses talks about living in wide open spaces.
I can’t tell you how much I long for you to enter this wide-open, spacious life. We didn’t fence you in. The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren’t small, but you’re living them in a small way. I’m speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection.
Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively!
(2 Cor 6:11-13 MSG)

The best thing about these wide open spaces waiting for us, is that He’s gone before us there too.

Things I’m asking myself on the brink of this new year:

What has kept me small?
What do I have to do to move into a bigger wide-open space?
What do I need to let go of?
What needs to be pruned out?

I’m making time over the next month to get honest, to reflect on what has been, and to prepare my heart for what is to come.

xx

(As an aside, my friend Amanda has an amazing resource for those of us who want to intentionally move into a new year with vision and purpose. It’s a workbook called Seeking Clarity, you can find it in her shop.)