It was a tough year.
We were in our 5th year of marriage and it seemed that from the first year we had been inundated with “stuff”. It was like we couldn’t catch our breath before another thing came along and threw us into a new spin of change….or loss.
This year it was moving into our new home.
We were brand new home owners – the proud new occupants of a renovation project that seemed to spring up a new surprise every time we turned around.
What looked like a simple project to the naked eye was turning into a monster. I know, I know – every person who has renovated or flipped a home is saying, “Simple? BAHHHHH-HAHAHA!”
Yes, we were naive. Very naive.
But there was more.
I was grappling with some deep disappointments. Expectations I had held deep inside were not being met, people I felt I could trust were not there for me, people I had invested in simple didn’t want to invest back – I was horribly lonely. I didn’t know whom I could turn to.
I had never felt so alone – and so abandoned.
The disappointment and loneliness festered inside until it turned to bitterness.
The thing with bitterness is, it not only isolates you from community, it isolates you from God.
Jesus said, “If you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will my Heavenly Father forgive you your trespasses”.
This is serious.
Bitterness literally disintegrates our relationship with God, because our pride assumes that while God forgave us of so much, we are not obligated to forgive others of a minute infraction.
We say, “I can’t”, but what we really mean is “I wont”. We can. Oh yes! We can!
And that grace enables us to do what we think we can’t do – what we, in fact, can’t do in human strength.
For months I walked around bearing my burden of pride. And it grew so heavy to bear that it exhausted me spiritually. It was that winter that I took a break from blogging.
Truthfully, I had no word left to say.
I was spent. Done. Wasted.
I had scraped the bottom of the barrel until even it was worn thin.
My intention was to return to writing after the New Year – but January 1st came and I was no more ready to write than I had been when I began my blogcation.
That’s when I decided to pray about hanging up my shingle and saying goodbye to A Little R & R.
In prayer, I felt the Lord direct me to blog through 1 Corinthians 13 from February 1-14.
That was my initial thought.
“Doesn’t God know that this has been done so many times that it’s over done?”
But, I couldn’t shake it. I couldn’t ignore it.
I knew it was divine direction, and I had to do it.
Little did I know that this was the turning point for me both spiritually and as a writer.
I embarked on the first day with lots of skepticism – I really didn’t know what I’d write about – since I hadn’t been able to write anything of value in a couple of months.
But *boom* – the words came like a tsunami.
And every day, for 14 days, it was like that.
But most of all, in those 14 days I saw myself as I truly was:
a noisy gong, a clanging cymbal. Full of bitterness and pride, self-righteousness – and no room for love.
I repented. As I wrote every article, I repented.
And at the end of 14 days, I was changed. I will never be the same.
I saw God’s grace and love in a way I had never seen them before. I suddenly realized how out of balance I had been for years. Focusing so much on righteousness and holiness to the point of legalism and judgement, leaving out the side of God that is love and grace.
Shortly after Valentine’s Day I gathered the posts in a small devotional book called 14 Days of Agape – and next week I will be doing a short 7-day series on love – borrowing from the book – leading up to Valentine’s Day on Saturday!
Are you with me?
We will meet right here each day, starting Sunday – taking 2 chapters at a time – as we learn how to love as God loves.
But wait! There’s more! (now I sound like a bad infomercial)
There are two flash giveaways!!
Stop by my Facebook page right now and enter to win!
1. Link up as many posts as you’d like (even giveaways!)
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