As we reach the final days of December I find myself eagerly wishing the hours away. There are certainly times in my life when I’ve wished I could slow down or speed up time, but never more so than this last few months. I am deeply heartbroken by the conflict surrounding the Church. I realize this season is taking many by surprise. For me, this is the culmination of the train that openly derailed 5 years ago and has been speeding up ever since.
At the same time, that derailment is what has led me to cling to Scripture and to ensure I prioritize God first in choices and relationships. I’m not perfect, however, the longer I pursue learning about God the more I understand the necessity of accountability and developing discernment.
My #oneword for 2020 was Pursue. I wasn’t clear as to why this word would carry me through 2020, however in February we hosted an FCA coaches’ wives conference titled Pursue and had the theme verse Colossians 3:17 (CSB), “And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
Six months ago I did a short summary of the lessons God was teaching me about the application of the word Pursue. I’m going to pick up where I left off with that post.
Lessons Learned in the Last Six Months of 2020
In July the word pursue became a lifeline as I learned once again to surrender my husband’s health and safety to his career. There have been seasons in the past years where I’ve wrestled God with my husband’s safety. Lengthy travel combined with small towns in out of the way communities forced me to release his health and safety to many unknowns. This summer we faced the same situation as coaches around the country were dying from COVID-19. I pursued the truth illnesses occur wherever we are and whether Ordell was at practice or walking through the grocery store he was at risk of illness.
In August I leaned into the truth that pursing God first would allow us to continue to gather outside with our church community. We engaged with our church body online and in person when restrictions allowed. Our kids attended youth group as they’ve been able. It’s not the same, but we’re not shutting down. That’s what’s most important. 2020 has confirmed for all Christians that God resides far beyond the walls of the Church building. We only need to pursue engaging with him and he will make his presence known.
In September pursue took on a different look as both our sons began to bloom in new interests. As they get older their separate personalities shine as they pursue things that feature their gifts, talents and interests. It’s fun to see our sons embrace how God created them and work hard at developing their abilities.
In October pursue shifted a bit in that God opened by eyes to the need to invest in pursuing my husband and our relationship even more intentionally. Nothing negative brought this need up, however, it’s been a long and emotionally exhausting year and our weekly dates are still on hold. I miss our Wednesday dinners together. Thankfully, our relationship isn’t suffering from all our additional time together. Quite the opposite. We make a good team. I’m thankful for my husband. I’m also thankful that the more I pursue him, the more he pursues me.
In November pursue revealed that the months of preparation, study, research, and prayer focusing on a six-week study on relational ministry were not in vain. What I anticipated releasing mid-2021 is 99% ready now! God helped me to see so many connections that the words poured out onto the pages.
In December pursue reminded me that sometimes we need to pursue truth for ourselves even when everyone around us insists their version of truth is enough. Pursuing God includes asking the Holy Spirit to help us understand God’s word. Paul wrote about this in 1 Corinthians 2:10-16 which says:
The Spirit, not content to flit around on the surface, dives into the depths of God, and brings out what God planned all along. Who ever knows what you’re thinking and planning except you yourself? The same with God—except that he not only knows what he’s thinking, but he lets us in on it. God offers a full report on the gifts of life and salvation that he is giving us. We don’t have to rely on the world’s guesses and opinions. We didn’t learn this by reading books or going to school; we learned it from God, who taught us person-to-person through Jesus, and we’re passing it on to you in the same firsthand, personal way.
The unspiritual self, just as it is by nature, can’t receive the gifts of God’s Spirit. There’s no capacity for them. They seem like so much silliness. Spirit can be known only by spirit—God’s Spirit and our spirits in open communion. Spiritually alive, we have access to everything God’s Spirit is doing, and can’t be judged by unspiritual critics. Isaiah’s question, “Is there anyone around who knows God’s Spirit, anyone who knows what he is doing?” has been answered: Christ knows, and we have Christ’s Spirit.1 Corinthians 2:10-16 (MSG)
Ultimately, pursing God allows us to live freely with him. Peter wrote about this. It’s important that we remember that as we align our hearts with our Savior we will long to pursue him more and as we do so, he in turn, will pursue is as well.