FRIENDS! It is hard to truly believe that 2017 has actually come to a close. PHEW. THAT was a doozy. I’m going to be super real with yall that 2017 felt like an emotional tornado. Trial after hardship after pain after heartbreak I sometimes felt like I was drowning in a mess of beautiful ruins. I say “ruins” because indeed there were points in this last year where my life looked like a pile of STUFF. Some days I had no idea what happened, and I often struggled with how to make it whole again.
What I LOVE about the ruins though, is the word written just before them: beautiful. “How can ruins be beautiful, Kait?”, you might be thinking. They are, after all, just a pile of tattered STUFF. Broken, battered and mismatched. Think about this for a second though. When it comes to ruins, I mean, when something like a building actually gets destroyed, it can truly be a mess in that moment. It looks pretty awful and is devastating . In that moment, the ruin represents all that was lost.
BUT. ALAS. What happens after that building gets destroyed? In more cases than not, it gets rebuilt. Maybe even better than the first time because the people who created it know now MORE. The rebuilt framework also has so much more meaning because of the history behind it. SO, the ruins are transformed, into something different, something stronger, something MORE beautiful than before.The ruins are transformed, into something different, something stronger, something MORE beautiful than even before. Click To Tweet
“They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.” Isaiah 61:4
This is why it is so key for me to include the word beautiful in my description of ruins. They go hand in hand because the pile of ruins represent what was lost but also learned. It represents feeling a deep pain to heal from the pain. It represents a broken past changed into a new, more stable future. It represents worn out desires transformed into NEW found hope.
This year alone for me included: heartbreak, rejection, confusion, weight gain, health imbalance, confusion in direction,financial stress, autoimmune disorders, work stress & anxiety, self doubt, family crises, and the realization of past sexual abuse… just to name a few.
I questioned whyyyyy so many things kept happening over and over without an end. But what continually set me free time and time again was something actually quite simple. Knowing that His will for me is good. Simple and to the point. God’s will for YOU, his beloved sons and daughters, IS good and true and mighty and wonderful. While sometimes it may feel impossible to understand the WHY something is happening, I always came back to knowing that God doesn’t promise us a timeline for healing or understanding. He doesn’t say when something bad happens He will give us the answers instantly. But, His plans and purpose will be made known through time, and it will all be AMAZING, even IF it is not how I originally envisioned.
“In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him” Ephesians 1: 8-9
Indeed, 2017 was a difficult year for me, this is true. But in the end I have to strangely admit that it was also worth every ounce of pain, confusion, discontentment, weariness, and heartbreak. You see, it is because of the emotional tornados of this last year, that I have truly been able to tap into a new found HOPE that Jesus promises. It is through the various pains that I have been able to grasp a deep love of my Savior in a new found, beautiful way. As I start to look back at the pile of ruins, I now see them in a new light. They have started to transform. No longer are they an eye sore of my past, but rather a victorious symbol of how I have grown THROUGH the trials of 2017.
So today as we close out 2017 and reflect on all the good, bad, and maybe not so pretty…. I want to encourage you to embrace the ruins from your own possible emotional tornados of this last year. Look at that pile of stuff until you start to recognize what you have learned through it and how it has shaped your life [even if painful!]. Stare at it and embrace these thoughts as you start transforming the way your mind looks at the ruins.
And THEN? Start rebuilding.
What if instead of using words to speak about ourselves in 2017 such as broken. battered. disaster. ashamed. unloveable. fearful. and replaced them with words like:
I love this line from the song “This is Me” in the movie, “The Greatest Showman.” [which PS I just saw and it was AMAZING!!]
“This is BRAVE. This is BRUISED. this is WHO I AM MEANT TO BE.”
I love that SO much. We have a choice to make. To be brave in owning the beautiful ruins of our pasts. What happened in 2017 was meant to happen, and what is going to happen in 2018 is already set on its course. The truth is, you ARE WHO you are meant to be, IN Christ. So wouldn’t it be amazing if going into this new year, we started to embrace God’s call for our life by owning our STORY, our beautiful ruins made anew, and started to embrace who He has created us to be?
“When the world caves in
Still my hope will clean
to Your promise
When my courage ends
Let my heart find strength
In Your presence
Let the ruins come to life
In the beauty of Your name
Rising up from the ashes
God forever You reign” Hillsong United, Glorious Ruins
What if we ended 2018 allowing our ruins from 2017 to come to life for the beauty of His name? What if we chose to not stay down in the rubble, but to rise us from the ashes and create something NEW? I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t have 2017 any other way. I can sit here wishing that my break up didn’t happen, or that I didn’t gain so much weight this summer, or that I never realized I was sexually abused, or that I made more money…. but I have never in the history of “dwelling in the past” ever found that it has ever changed my future. It is not about the WHY the hardships of this past year happened, but rather, it is about WHAT we can do to glorify Him and move forward with a newfound hope.
“Rejoice in Hope. Be patient in tribulation. Be constant in Prayer.” Romans 12:12
This is my prayer for you, my dearest friends and confidents. That as we close 2017 to move into 2018 that we truly and deeply seek God in every hardship, opportunity, relationship, and joy He puts in our lives. Embracing THIS is how our beautiful ruins will come to LIFE in 2018!!!!