God and i have been doing this thing for about 6 years now where we do a year in review. He gives me a word for the year and at the end of the year we talk about how He accomplished what He said He would do. we reminisce. we remember. and sometimes there is a lot of me asking…did you actually do what you said you were going to do? and the answer is ALWAYS yes, even when it looks like it could be no.
in 2016 my word was ABUNDANCE.
until maybe september or so, i had been sitting in a pretty long season of desolation aka depression/funk/something that didn’t look like me typically. i was going on 4 years of this. for most of the time i didn’t know what to do with it. i am a fairly joyful individual but i couldn’t get happy. i couldn’t change anything. fear seemed a constant and the emotions wouldn’t shift. while i am a “thinker” on myer’s briggs, there is still quite a bit of emotional in me. by early summer, i had tried EVERYTHING but could not get out of it.
all the while, wondering how in the world, in the year of jubilee, i had missed the abundance of God. this God who was the best friend. the God who knew me and i knew loved me. i still didn’t see the abundance.
as i started my second year of heart paths (a three year course to become a spiritual director), there was light at the end of the tunnel. something was shifting. i was excited that this desolation could be ending. but still there was this nagging question of surely there is more? surely moving from desolation to consolation isn’t the abundance. it felt so big. it felt like a game changer.
and then it hit me.
well not quite that quickly. but leading up to our “year in review” He was getting me ready for sure. by somewhere around november, i felt like i had completely shifted back to consolation after years in desolation. it felt like i could breath again. but still i didn’t see the abundance.
you see i joked about how God and i had pretty drastically different definitions for abundance. mine…well it meant abundant. and God’s seem to mean the entire opposite. ha. and nothing has changed really. every area of my life there seems to be a wall.
it was probably the week before sitting down with Him and all of a sudden it was like i started seeing all these things that were there. places of abundance. moments of abundance. so when we talked through what abundance looked like in 2016, it was quite impactful.
what i realize in a tangible way is how true it is that God is not only the God of abundance but He IS abundance. i have Him! i have all the abundance i need! but He gives is so much more than Him because He loves to lavish on us.
the fun part is that i don’t think most of my circumstances have changed but i am most definitely postured differently. i walk in abundance in what could be considered desert by some. in the place of waiting for things to shift and move that He has been talking about with me for years.
but you can experience it too! He wants to give us all of Himself…not just parts. not just a little here and there. He is a lavish, extravagant God though never wasteful! He has so much that He wants to lavish on you. He wants to show you what it is like to walk in abundance regardless of what your circumstances say. He wants to show you what it is like to walk in abundance regardless of how you feel. HE IS ABUNDANCE. perhaps ask Him to show you more.
i know the desolation will come again because that is life. but i am thankful that i KNOW i can walk in abundance even in the darkest of valleys. that now is a time to “store up energy” as Ignatius calls it…meaning essentially make a collection of stories, memories, mementos to remind you of who He is when the desolation hits again.
so what are your memories? what are your mementos? what are the things you run to when you feel it starting to get dark around the edges and you see the season shifting? how do you prepare for that when it is sunny and happy out?