One word that describes my experience in 2019 is: SEASONS. Seasons of joy, of heartbreak; of fatigue, of energy; of freedom, of burden; of success, of failure; of confusion, of purpose; of hurt & of healing.
I graduated with my Bachelor’s Degree, started my YTT-200 yoga teacher training, began a new job that I enjoy and find rest in, & took a trip to Dublin. But despite all these beautiful & positive developments there were also STRUGGLES and CHALLENGES: broken trust, fatigue, heightened anxiety, & depression.
Regardless of the good- or bad-ness of the season, God has been with me through it all, leading & guiding, equipping & healing. I have learned some hard lessons: the importance of wise counsel (both through dear friends & a Licensed Counselor), how to show love & forgiveness after being hurt, and the need to spend time actively meditating on God’s Word & taking care of yourself body, spirit, & soul.
The verse is well-known but I invite you to examine it with me as I share some insights that God has laid on my heart:
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.Joshua 1:8-9 ESV, empasis added
- How am I to meditate on God’s Word day & night? Having God’s Word on your heart every moment will not happen in the flip of the switch. The Lord has shown me the importance of SMALL, ATTAINABLE ACTIONS that will (with time) create lasting, healthy habits. For me, this means spending at least 5 minutes every night in meditation or doing yoga.
- Thinking about God’s Word, digesting it, should lead to growth, actions, and sanctification from the Spirit. These actions (that show love to God & others), will yield success in God’s calling. This may not be success in the way that you expect, but in regards to where God is calling you to go — just as in the context of this verse, God was calling the Israelites into the Promised Land.
- Be strong and courageous — NOT be without fear, but be strong despite your fears. Personally, I fear being rejected, left, or laughed at. God calls me to live out His calling in the face of these fears.
- The Hebrew words for frightened and dismayed have a connotation of trembling and being broken. A professor of mine once said that this could be seen as “do no be shaken, do not be shattered.” I picture shaken confidence and shattered self-image. However, we can be UNSHAKEN and UNSHATTERED because God is with us.
Regardless of the season you are in now, or the season changes that come in 2020, you can rest in the promise that God is right there with you. Take each season in turn, learn the lessons you can, & seek the Lord each step of the way.