God has this thing with numbers. So do I. It’s part of the language He uses to communicate with me. Phil and I were talking about this move to Cedar Rapids. We agreed, life has been both difficult and rewarding these last seven years.

Early in 2006 our lives took some very heartbreaking turns (and I’ve blogged about them all) A small recap would include the death of close family members (my uncle, his paternal grandma, my maternal grandma, my best friend, his maternal grandma, his paternal grandpa, his dad, my mom,) our income was chiseled away until today, we stand at making less than half of what we did then, both of us have had some hefty health concerns, the betrayal and ultimate loss of four very good friends, we’ve moved 3 times, in 2006 we left our church because the pastor made horrid accusations against me, this year we left a second church because that same pastor was hired on…we’ve been hit in the spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional areas…and hit hard.

We closed this chapter of our lives on the first day of Lent–the 40 days leading up to the Resurrection of Christ.

My word for this year is {restore}

“For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, declares the Lord, because they have called you an outcast…”

Jeremiah 30:17

This word “restore” in this verse in Hebrew means

to ascend,

to spring up,

grow,

shoot forth,

to come up (before God,)

to bring up,

draw up,

train.

This feels like birth. Phil’s new job, the way they’re transferring us to a new place, taking care of the move, new home, new city, new friends–real friends, Godly friends, a new (to us) vehicle, a surprisingly good tax return, a bonus from work, my art career, the ease of this huge change and everything falling together at this very moment in time, our health concerns addressed and healing, mind, body, and soul healing.  Like morning sickness in the first trimester and the full, achy, wobbly, exhausting third trimester. Like the contractions, the pain of birth. At once everything happens at once and there is relief and love and tears and overwhelming joy.

that’s what I feel like.

I talked with Phil about the Israelites wandering the desert. How I feel like at the beginning of these seven years, I was a young and immature believer, I complained, I expected things, I demanded, I was insulted if I didn’t receive, and now? I feel God has taught me what it means to Follow Him. To truly listen to His voice and only His voice. How both of us have learned to listen to Him and not argue and fight. We just obey. Like we’re entering a spiritual Promised Land. Phil said, “I’m sure glad it didn’t take us 40 years!!”

but I am 40.

and maybe it did take me 40 years of wandering.

Then last night, after the movers finished loading our belongings and drove off, after we packed our vehicles with what they wouldn’t transport, after cleaning the house we’re leaving behind, after taking a final sunset picture from Indiana and saying goodbye to my family, after all that I was flipping through the stations and Pastor Rodney Finch was giving a sermon about how the Israelites had only an eleven day journey  from Egypt to the Promised Land and yet, it took them 40 years.

And how we are built in affliction.

This morning, I remembered that 2006 was seven years ago and that God’s meaning in seven is

completion,

to bring to a close,

to fulfill,

fullness

Things feel different. We have had no fear during this transition. Anxiety of the unknown–yes. But fear? Not so much. We’ve willingly stepped out in faith each with each new situation we’ve been faced with and also with the repeat trials. We’ve faced some pretty serious giants and we’ve stood firm. And even though there is still much unknown, I don’t feel the overwhelming sense of dread cloaked over us.

 I’m praying that the deepest darkness has now passed.

That this is indeed the beginning of a new time. A time to come up before God. A time of restoration.

a time of healing

my soul yearns to be restored.