As the calendar year draws to a close, I want to spend a few days in prayerful appreciation for all that’s taken place in the past twelve months. It might be a little more challenging this year as Diane and I have three little friends staying with us. That just means I need a different time to escape to my “quiet place.” Perhaps I’ll rise earlier, play Jim Hendricks’ Country Mountain Hymns in the background, and lose myself in my extended “God time.”
The concept of “two words” has been on my heart for several weeks now. In recalling all that’s happened in my family’s life, each memory is triggered by two words. As 2019 rolled around, and my dad’s night terrors returned with vigor. I remembered through the words “Touch Me.” When his blood pressure skyrocketed, his pulse quickened, and his breathing became difficult, it was a gentle hand on his leg, arm, or torso. Touching him, I offered reassurance by reciting the 23rd Psalm over and over. Remove my hand, or silence God’s words, and his vitals would start increasing right away. I thought, the power of God on display.
When the doctors diagnosed dementia, my worst fears were becoming a reality. Two words stirred my memory, “Have Faith.” How many prayers for guidance, understanding, patience, and peace did I submit? As the medication helped and symptoms subsided, my two words turned to “Gracious God.”
When circumstances dictated the need for others to care for my dad, my feelings of incompleteness and failure had two words, “Going Home.” Months earlier than planned, with God’s help, it proved the right move as his return to more family and familiar surroundings helped bring him a restored sense of peace. As my own surgical procedures experienced delays, resulting in mounting frustration, my two words were “Seek Peace.” It was in asking the Holy Spirit to help me return to center I could find the peace and patience needed to resolve over three years of bureaucratic nonsense.
After becoming an “award-winning” writer at the Carolina Christian Writer’s Conference, my two-word memory was “Made It.” Receiving validation that peers viewed my Christian writing as noteworthy among peers helped me to see the results of my efforts to learn this craft. While I still have a lifetime of learning left to achieve, I thank God I’m able to share what I’m learning with those who follow.
Following my shoulder surgery, my two words became “Let Go.” With a rehab that is continuing, God has used this time to humble me. I’ve had to learn a whole new level of dependence upon God, and others. Letting go of my pride and allowing others to help me has taught me a wonderful lesson. It’s showing me how my need blesses others as they use the gift of helps the Holy Spirit has given them. I never realized how selfish my pride had caused me to become until this year. Satan convinced me how my independence was a good thing. In reality, he hid my pride from me. Thank you Abba for helping me to learn how to let go by letting others also serve your kingdom.
When I learned my manuscript didn’t make the final selection for publishing, I was surprised at how the news didn’t cause pain, depression, or any signs of grieving. Instead, I felt a great peace as God gave me two words weeks before for just this moment. Those two words were “God’s time.” As much as I yearn to have my name plastered on the cover of a published work, I want more to impact someone’s life for God’s kingdom. In response to my months of prayer about this manuscript, my Christian writing career, and other writing guidance, I kept receiving the same message; “God’s time.”
This isn’t to say I’ve resigned myself to not learning more, improving, and growing as a writer to improve my manuscripts. Instead, the peace within me tells me I am on God’s path for my Christian writing. I need to focus on those things I can control and trust that God is preparing the blessings to come. Improving my skills, growing my platform, pursuing representation; these are all things I can work on. Placing the words God has called me to write at the right place and time, to reach the target He has planned it for in His hands? I’m okay with that.
So now we come to the two words I want to share with you this week. Well, actually two sets of two words. The first is “Thank You.” I can’t tell you how much I’ve appreciated everyone’s comments and encouragement this past year. I pray my blog posts improve each week as I endeavor to both enlighten and inspire you with the lessons God is teaching me out here on the Cross-Dubya. The second set is “Merry CHRISTmas.” There’s no way I could afford to send a stamped card to everyone who has followed, commented, or shared my blog. I pray this holiday brings you lots of wonderful memories and a year full of blessings.
As my final post for this year, I want to close by asking you to think about the most important two words you can ever say. Please pause for just a moment and think about the greatest gift any of us can ever receive. It was a gift offered for all mankind. That gift arrived over two thousand years ago in a simple manger, in an insignificant town, under an unlikely set of circumstances that fulfilled prophecies claimed centuries before it happened. It is a gift none of us can earn; we must simply ask to receive the greatest blessing. That gift is salvation through Christ Jesus.How do we repay all that God has blessed/will bless us with? #TwoWords Click To Tweet
The most important two words we can ever say; and the ones I pray each of you reading will say many times in your Christian walk are “Yes Lord.” Join with me in preparing for 2020 by making these two words the most important words in our vocabulary.