July is closing in and my year of focus is halfway done. I. Am. Loving. It!
I am still honing my “focus” muscles as they seem atrophied from their constant exposure to flashing entertainment and moving highlight reels, but the more I unplug, the more space I seem to find.
The more expanse created by the unplugging the more I discover a deep hunger to fill it with my own creative energy.
It has been a beautiful exchange, replacing the constant mode of consumption for one of creative composition.
There was intention to my year of concentration. It is my word for the year, whispered to my soul from the One who loves me most. (read more here: https://abeautifulremnant.com/a-year-of-focus/) But the goal was not just focus for the sake of focusing. The goal was to intentionally spend my creative energy writing.
Not just a blog, or an email, or an instagram post; instead, this year has been about intentional writing to finish a book!
Just writing this is enough to set the butterflies in my stomach aflutter. My heart pulsing with the three-part rhythm of excitement, nerves, and trepidation.
What a venture this has been, an adventure in the best of ways. Scaling untouched mountains of creativity and forging new paths of artistic skills. I am learning as I go that the journey is long (much longer than I estimated) but it has been as fulfilling as it has been challenging.
The book I am writing has changed. Several times in fact. Every rendition has taken me a little further down the path, aimed in a slightly different direction, but earlier this year I felt it click. As if all areas of heart, mind, and intention fell into the keyhole I was aiming for all along.
It started as a question. After Dad’s death I couldn’t help asking God about the “why” and “how come?” Later more questions such as, “I don’t get it, God. How much is our responsibility and what is yours?”
If someone could be healed by fasting and prayer, I swear my Dad would be here. Thirty-day fasts, prayer chains, worship meetings, and every other church thing you could think of. That was on top of all the chemo, radiation, and any medication we were given. We were tackling cancer spiritually as well as physically. Still, it felt like in a deep way we lost, and I needed some answers.
I still believe God is the same yesterday, today and always. His very name Jehovah Rapha declares He is healer. So, why didn’t we SEE this healing? This expanse between what I knew, thought I knew, and what I experienced was a gaping cavern and I could see no bridge to connect them all.
While bringing all this to Jesus in emotionally charged prayers, one day I felt the Holy Spirit pulling me to the book of Joshua. Joshua, the bloodiest book in the Bible. While I felt like our family had been through a war, I flipped past Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, & Numbers and opened to the story of how Joshua led the people into their Promised Land.
What I found on this journey was a man who, like me in this season, found himself face to face with an enemy. Mine cancer, and Joshu’s all the “-ites” people groups of the Bible. He was a man who learned how to walk into the promises of God.
One step at a time.
One battle at a time.
A man who lived a journey through the middle parts of what is promised and not yet realized. While each battle was different, the common thread was that God was with Him. Guiding him, leading him. Offering the next strategy when it was asked and even fighting alongside.
I learned perhaps I was fighting wrong, leaning into my own strength and wisdom, instead of leaning on His. I learned that perhaps there was a different way to journey in the middle spaces of life. I learned that His ways are not mine and His timing for sure is not mine. But I also learned His ways are best, and following Him is always the best place to be.
What I discovered turning back in time to this book of battles and never-before-seen miracles, was that who God was to Joshua, He is still today. He is still the God who leads us into Promise.
He revealed parts of His heart and His character that I had never seen before and while I still haven’t received the answer to all my questions (“Why” will most likely be my first question in heaven), He did answer one I hadn’t asked, perhaps the most important one of all.
He answered “Who” am I??
Through every miracle, defeat and victory, God’s goodness was displayed.
And knowing the answer to who He is, above all else, has brought with it peace that passes understanding.
Who He is? He is good, He is always good. Always faithful to you and to me. He is always working all things out. And just like He did with Joshua, He is longing us to see that He is with us every step of the way.
Stay tuned to hear more about this book. <3