Today marks the end of 91 Little Things. It has come full circle from beginning to completion. Today is also the last day of 2020. This year, of all years, is the perfect picture of God having completed another circle for me, and for you, if you look for it with different eyes. I hope that with the words that follow, I can give you a chance to see that circle take shape with the eyes of your spirit. You have been busy becoming this year. You are certainly stronger, wiser, and have your eyes more opened than they have ever been. My prayer is that you allow what felt like so many dark moments be instead the material that made you forever better.
First, I’ll begin with how circles have become a part of my story. I gave you some clues in the last 7 posts leading up to this ending. These are my circles — each a miracle. I see clearly that each of our lives are one big circle — a whole, seamless sphere of encompassing experiences that have intention to draw us into the love of our Creator. But this is about the little circles that, if we are aware, are ones that give us pictures, like a seal on a letter of a king, that our stories, our journey have purpose and intention.
In the year 1991, my real life began when I married Christian and subsequently had my son, making me a momma. The number 91 has such significance for us.
In this year of 91 Little Things, Christian and I were brought fully back to being the two of us. That was quite the amazing blessing! Together, we watched our gorgeous barn be destroyed within moments this last July — the barn that had become a treasured symbol of our new life here in the North. This happened in the middle of 2020 — the storm within the storm — insult to injury at that point in such a crazy year!
We had just purchased an abandoned building for our business, and secured a contractor to begin the process of making it presentable and usable space. This building is one of two left standing in our town that is literally smack dab in the middle of nowhere. The other is the post office. Ours had been a food co-op for years and before that, a store for tractors sales. It became a gas station and convenience store and then sadly, it lost its purpose and degraded into an eyesore. A couple days before the storm came through, the contractor had let us know that it was time to discuss materials. How would we like to proceed with making our new building attractive. We had no idea where to begin.
And then, a whole pile of barn wood and metal was set in our yard providing material for two structures to be reborn and repurposed!
We knew our old barn needed some repair, but we had been putting it off; after all, that barn had stood for over a century! What could possible happen to it?! But it’s possible that God knew we needed a nudge to allow better for ourselves, and so He nudged. And in giving us a new thing we wouldn’t have allowed for ourselves while also giving us the material to build our dreams. Our barn’s story held some grief! A man died there. It was a tragic and horrific story that happened 50-60 years ago, and the reminders inside remain. And now, all that story has been redeemed into a new thing! We didn’t know we needed a new barn, but the dreams coming to life as we watched a massive new structure come into being are simply beautiful!
That’s what He does, friends. He sees where we need things, and He nudges us. He sees where we wallow in unforgiveness and provides opportunities to forgive and heal — stretching us and completing that circle. He takes our stories of pain and He offers us a way to take the rubble and create something beautiful — a new story of redemption from the mess! He takes a hardest year and in it, grows us, shapes us, and prepares us to remodel what had become stagnant and ugly.
Can you see His hand? Is it possible that you’ve come out of all of this with more than when you started? Sometimes, the nuggets of redemption have to be mined. You may have to look at them and chip away to find your gem. But shine a light deep into what has been hard and look for what sparkles and sings to you from the deep places. And if you can’t see it yet, be willing to let Him reveal the valuable material He longs to repurpose. The Lover of your soul longs to draw you to Him and wants to journey with you around and through some obstacles to pull you to His heart and lap and feet. He asked me to walk some paths that I hated. Paths that about broke my very heart. Paths that brought persecution. Paths that felt like impossibility at the beginning, and then circled back around every single time to His drenching love for me. He saw things He knew I needed before I could have even possibly known it was a need! He held my hand and my heart all the way through.
Just like what we want for our children. They have their own circles to travel. Do we want their worlds free from pain? In a way, we do. But more than easy, we know they have their own journeys. They’ll know hard things and they’ll circle back around to what is good and true. So much more than simple, I want mine to know their God like I do and more. I want them to have tested and proven His faithfulness and lovingkindness. I want them to know His heart is the only safe place.
Love has a way of wrecking things. Love destroys any plans that were set in motion for our destruction and then it facilitates the construction of new and better and stronger. Love is what changes ugly and creates value. It’s a creator of life and newness and a restorer of purpose!
I sat in a circle of my favorite people in my living room on Christmas Day, six days ago, declaring it the best moment of my life and meaning it with my entire heart. My family had been wrung dry this year. There were some growing pains and struggle. As parents, we knew that it was the ripple effect of growing our family and all of the personalities needing time to meld and adjust. We knew it was a matter of time and love. And sure enough, as I sat in the middle of our crew that is now TWELVE beautiful souls strong, 30 years after the kiss that changed the world, and felt the love between every single member, I saw the circle. It is woven with threads of forgiveness, hope, healing, redemption, and so very much LOVE. Thirty years after I kissed a man named Christian, I sat worshiping with a tiny boy in a newborn-sized diaper who is also named Christian. The song we listened to talked about the goodness of God. How I’ve been held in His hands. How He has been faithful and so, so good for all my days. How He led me through the darkest night and been my Father and friend. Of this I will sing.
My life has been redeemed from the darkness to light. I sat holding a precious baby boy and remember the beloved baby boy at the beginning of our story. A story in which no one believed had any promise. And oh, do I see the goodness of God!!!!
Look for the circles, friends. He has intention to bring them back around for you and to His heart. He is a Completer — the Author and Finisher of our faith.
I will close with two things. One is Hebrew and the next will blow your mind.
FULL CIRCLE: a situation is brought through a series of developments that leads to a complete reversal of the original position.
In the Hebrew language, the word for the process of coming full circle is the word GAMAR which means to perfect or to complete. It is made up of three letters:
- Gimmel — This letter means that whatever we go through will be surrounded by the lovingkindness of God (look for it — you will find it)
- Mem — This letter means water or the womb. This is the place of birthing something new. When completed, we are born into a new season. (anyone ready for a new season??)
- Resh — A mini Rosh Hashanah or NEW YEAR!!! (HAPPIEST NEW YEAR, FRIENDS!!)
You know the story of Noah. You know that on the mountain, after the nightmare that Noah and his wife, Naamah (I think she deserves to have her name acknowledged as well after all she went through!) and their family survived that they were given a sign as a covenant-promise from God in the form of a rainbow. It had to be the most beautiful thing they had ever seen — a circle made of all of the colors of light, glistening on the mist remaining in the sky.
Wait. Did you catch it? It was a CIRCLE! If you were on a mountain or in a plane you would see that a rainbow is a FULL CIRCLE! We can only ever see from our limited perspective the top of the arch. In the natural, we are aware of the promise, but sometimes that’s all we have and we wonder about what can come to pass. The upper band that we see represents PROMISE. From the sky, from God’s perspective, the upper and lower arches of the circle are both visible. The lower band represents FULFILLMENT! In Revelation 4:2-3, the rainbow encircles God’s throne which represents God’s promises and fulfillment.
Look for the promises, friends. Wait for the fulfillment. He’s got you.
May the God of Hope fill you with His love and peace this New Year…