I am the Lord who does all these things.

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2015. 
New beginnings.
New plans.
New goals.
Same motivations.

There were many moments when I lacked wisdom. I let myself become a doormat. I let myself become hurt by people I thought were important. I let myself hurt people I thought were important. I have lost potential friendships and incredible friendships over little things. Two car wrecks in two months. 

But, I learned so much. So much.

The Lord began teaching me about faithfulness and wisdom. He showed me the glory of a back broken to sow and bring life to empty soil. His back broken for me. Broken for the moments when I needed someone to say, “Yes, your hands are dirty now. This land looks barren. It looks like a waste. But keep pressing in—keep sowing seed—it will flourish." 

He said to me, "I will make it flourish” 

There were moments when I walked away from the pressing in. I walked away from the mandate and the toil of sowing life into barren soil. I felt tired, empty, drained. Those were the moments when I took responsibility for the lack of growth. I took responsibility for the draught. I let myself believe that my obedience wasn’t enough. That the one who knows all and sees all and understands everything, wasn’t right; that his plans for me, and his affirmations for me weren’t enough. But then he would remind me—

I will go before you and level the exalted places.
I will break in pieces the doors of bronze
and cut through the bars of iron.
I will give you the treasures of the darkness
And hoards in the secret places.
That you may know that it is I the Lord
the God of Israel, who call you by your name…
I call you by your name, I name you,
though you do not know me.
I am the Lord, and there is no other,
besides me there is no God;
I equip you though you do not know me,
that people may know from the rising of the sun,
and from the west, that there is none besides me;
I am the Lord and there is no other.
I form light and create darkness.
I make well-being and create calamity.
I am the Lord who does all these things.
— Isaiah 45:2-7

I am the Lord who does all these things. I AM the Lord who does all these things.

And he reminds me, releases me, exhorts me, to praise him again. To thank him for all the "things." To thank him even for the moments when I walked away from the work; when I crumpled under the weighty expectations that I had placed on myself; when I took the Lord's place in my own heart as the one who would make it work, as the one who should be praised. Thank you, Lord. You've taught me again. I have been graced by you. I receive grace from you. The glory of your broken back is the glory of grace and the miracle of SOZO.

SOZO:  fully saved, fully healed, fully free.

I don't get to work for your affection. I don't get to prostitute myself for your love, your favor, your wisdom. I will only get to receive it freely.

You are the Lord who does all these things.