I am so excited to share this with you! It is hard to figure out where to start, I can be long winded when I tell a story. Last year was a really tough year in my marriage. I was healing from another 7 surgeries in 2015 and hubby was in the midst of letting go of some men he served with in a ministry because God told him to. They were both highly painful events and they happen to fall in our 25th year of marriage. God prepared us beforehand with a tool to keep us on the same side (most days) while we weathered the storms set before us.
I wore a tube hanging out of my upper left quadrant of my gut for 224 days in 2015-16. It was uncomfortable and I felt horrible most of the time. The amount of pain medicine it takes for pain relief, because of all I’ve taken over the years for 40+ surgeries, makes me a bit numb. Thinking back to that year, it was probably a good thing to be a little numb. I remember being in my “war room”/office, now Worship Room, and crying out to Jesus to heal our marriage, to teach me to love hubby well, to love our children well, to love others well, to heal hubby’s heart from the rejection and silence of the men in the ministry he left, I cried out for the world! My joy was lacking and my patience thin, at least with those closest to me. As 2015 approached, hubby and I began to talk about how we could re-create the physical and emotional intimacy we shared in 2014 after years of struggle. We asked God separately and together to give us a challenge to rebuild that, what we got was a sex challenge…224 days of sex in a row. I was tired and figured that year would be challenging for me physically, but we both wanted back what we had before and were willing to fight for it. I know women think I am crazy to have even considered this challenge, the truth is I kind of was. It was so much bigger than the 45 we did as we studied Song of Solomon together in 2014! I love making love to hubby, it is passionate and Spirit filled. He is my rock in so many ways that I enjoy showing that to him, and the bonus is that I am fulfilling a man’s greatest need physically. It hasn’t always been this way, but God (there are those words again) can create anything He desires and I believe He desires us to know Him this way. We wrote a blog about it last year as the challenge was underway, if you would like to read it PM me for the link. After a few months of discussion, I said yes, he said yes, and today is an exciting day in our marriage! That gives you some background for what I am going to share with you.
Our last pastor, Craig Groeschel of Life.Church encourages his flock to ask God for a word each year. I can’t recall the actual series, but it was in January of 2012 I think. So, each year, I ask Jesus for my word. Most years it is February or March before I hear the word He and I will work on that year. I don’t know if that is what Craig says it is for, but in my experience it has been a word that God uses that year to sink our meaning together deep into my soul. In 2016, during the toughest year of marriage, God gave me the word REBUILDING. When I first heard it, I was immediately unnerved at the thought of what I would have to do to rebuild what was lost physically, emotionally, and Spiritually. But God, He had a different thing in mind, He wanted me to watch how He rebuilt those aspects of my life. It was a challenging year in more ways than one. We made it through the challenge by the skin of our teeth, but we made it. In 2017, my word was just as challenging, but it sounded much easier from the beginning…REST. Through the year, I discovered what rest looks and feels like. Rest with Jesus, in His Presence, has become my resting place and a day without it is not a good day.
Yesterday hubby and I fasted from food. It was the first real fast from food that we’ve done to hear the voice of God in areas where we aren’t hearing answers.. The reason this is so significant is because of last year. I remember as I was crying out to Jesus for healing, these are some of the things I asked for. Even cooler, hubby initiated it. (Did not see that coming!) We have fasted from other idols, but this one was different for both of us. By evening, we each had a story of what God had done during our day of looking at Him continually and it was so good! I didn’t really know a specific of what I was seeking in my day, I have asked God to reveal so many things, but what I received was the greatest thing I could have, MY WORD!!! This year I get to discover with Dad what it means to be…
It has been so much easier for me to see Jesus as my friend and even groom, but to see Daddy, God that way has been waayy harder. I’ve gone through healing prayer and have never been able to see Him as less than a light. I can see Jesus, I can see the Holy Spirit, both in human form, but I haven’t been able to see God. Beloved is a special word, it means (at the most watered down English language level) darling, dear, dearest, precious, adored, much loved, cherished, treasured, prized, highly regarded, admired, esteemed, worshiped, revered, venerated, idolized “her beloved brother” and a much loved person. Some synonyms God has actually named me over the years like sweetheart and love. Although on the surface, I can tell you what most of those words mean, I don’t think I can begin to decipher them as they come from the mouth of God, can you? What does it mean when God says I am cherished or adored? Does it mean the way my husband treats me? Because sometimes the way he treats me doesn’t feel super beloved to me. What about my dad? Does they way he treat me feel or look like treasured, admired, adored? Not very often. And what about my brothers? Does how they treat me line up with cherished, esteemed, sweetheart? Not even some of the time. So what does Beloved look like from Daddy, God?
In 2018, I get to discover what it looks like from the word of God and from my Spirit within that reveals all things to me, what an exciting year that lies ahead!! I know that as I know His love more, I can offer His love to those He puts in my path. I will share what it looks like throughout the year, at least from my story. My encouragement to you is ask Daddy for a word this year. What does He want rooted deep within you so that it will not be lost? God bless!