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Year-End Recap

2020. What a year. The amount the Lord has accomplished this year is overwhelming so in this post I just want to pull out some highlights.

In case you don’t know, at the beginning of every year I pray for the Lord to teach me something. It’s usually some area of my spiritual life that I’ve found very lacking. So on New Year’s Day, I spend time in prayer and then focus on that area throughout the year. Every year, God has been faithful to answer that prayer. And I guess I didn’t post it this year (so you’ll have to take my word for it), but this year I prayed for the Lord to teach me gentleness.

I’m not a gentle person by nature. At. All. I know it’s a fruit of the Spirit but I think it gets overlooked some. I’m more of a you’ll-be-fine, get-over-it, brush-it-off, drink-some-water kind of person. [Ouch] The more I realized this and the more I saw gentleness in others, I knew I needed to work on that in my own heart. So that was my prayer on January 1, 2020. I started studying it in Scripture, wrote down definitions, and watched closely people that I knew were gentle.

WHAT A YEAR TO PRAY THAT. There were SO many opportunities where gentleness was required this year! And sometimes I would think, “Lord, that’s it. I’m at the end of my gentleness here. I don’t have any more.” But always he would remind me of how gentle and patient he is towards me and my heart would soften towards those around me.

A pandemic requires gentleness. Dealing with the wildly differing opinions of others, the pain of suffering, the strokes of loneliness- I needed a tender heart. For effective ministry to occur to those around me, I could not have a harsh heart towards their opinions or feelings.

Dating requires a gentleness I did not expect. You actually cannot just plow your way into someone else’s heart, especially not a heart that has been deeply hurt before. I had to come in a gentle and understanding way. (And since Shawn is such a gentle person, it only magnified to me how un-gentle I was!)

Dating someone with children requires an extra dose of gentleness. I knew I needed to be mindful of their emotions and thoughts. I also knew the importance of fully and unconditionally embracing and loving those kids, knowing that I could get hurt in the process.

The more I practiced gentleness towards those closest to me, the more I realized this is how I should have been living all along. How harsh of a person I really am. And that gentleness grew and spread out. I’ve been hurt a lot this year (not by Shawn or the kids, lest you think that) and yet responded in ways I didn’t think possible. Instead of withdrawing (my natural response) from those hurting me, I moved closer. I was constantly reminded of Christ who came to US, to ME, and so I moved towards the offenders, not away. I was reminded that if not for Christ, I would never have come to faith and since he makes the first move in reconciliation, we as his followers do the same. We are called to be peacemakers.

In case you are sitting there thinking I did that every time, let me shatter that belief to the ground. Ohhhhh no. There definitely were times where I responded in anger. Times where my heart raged within me. If I struggled with anything this year, it was anger and selfishness. Or rather, the anger and selfishness I have in my heart were CLEARLY revealed. And it wasn’t pretty.

But I am thankful for the gentleness that God gave me where I certainly didn’t have it before. Like I said, THIS was the year. Little did I know how gentle I would need to be this year but of course God knew.

And so this Christmas I celebrate the One who comes to us to create peace. The Author of reconciliation. Oh come, let us adore Him.

 
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Posted by on December 23, 2020 in encouragment

 

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The Third Mile

If you look at my running stats, my slowest mile will always be the third one. I despise mile three. I’ve run 5Ks before but as a general rule, I don’t run three miles unless I’m in a race. I’ll run 2 or 4+ before I stop at 3. It may sound dumb but that third mile is a killer for me. I’ll be feeling just fine and then suddenly my stomach decides it would like to be on the outside of my body, and my head thinks it has a drum inside, and my feet seem to be made of lead. Worst. Mile. Ever.

Today marks the end of Mile Three since my first seizure. I can’t believe it’s been three years. Seems a whole heck of lot longer to me. And I’m not gonna lie; they have been hard years. Some days I still long to have “myself” back. Sounds weird, huh? Every time I meet a new friend, I still have the feeling that they aren’t meeting the real Kimmy and sadness creeps over me. Like they only are getting to know a partial person. Some days I could do without the constant headaches and the exhaustion.

I have been seizure free for 1 year and 4 months now. That is the most common question I get asked about my health and I really do thank God for that fact. But that doesn’t mean I feel a lot better. Some days I do but not usually. Some days I feel like a petty teenager with crazy emotions everywhere! Side effects of meds are hard, folks.

It’s not a big secret that John is my favorite Gospel. (Are you allowed to have favorites??) I LOVE that book. Last week I heard a sermon that referenced John 12:24-26. In those verses, Jesus talks about how a seed must die in order to bear fruit. And because of his death, SO much fruit would come! Verse 25 stands out to me:

“Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.”

I’ve been asked if I could go back to before April 10, 2016, would I? And the answer is no. There is so much that God has taught me about himself and I wouldn’t give that up. There are areas that I needed to grow in spiritually and I know that now. I loved my life a lot back then and it was really selfish of me. I’m glad I lost it. I have a better, more eternal view of life now.

One of my newest favorite songs is “Scars” from I Am They. The first part of it goes like this:

Waking up to a new sunrise
Looking back from the other side
I can see now with open eyes

Darkest water and deepest pain
I wouldn’t trade it for anything
‘Cause my brokenness brought me to You
And these wounds are a story You’ll use

So I’m thankful for the scars
‘Cause without them I wouldn’t know Your heart
And I know they’ll always tell of who You are
So forever I am thankful for the scars

I love that. And it’s so true. Without having gone through all the hardship, I wouldn’t know Christ as well. I wouldn’t have the opportunities I have now to minister to others. So I’m thankful. Just a few verses down in our John passage, Jesus is praying and he says, “Father, glorify your name.” (vs.28) Amen. That’s my prayer also, whether Mile Four gets easier or not. 🙂

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2019 in epilepsy

 

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