01 January 2014

The Year of Rest

After experiencing the Lord mightily in 2013, especially in the context of the name of my Year 2013, I was in great anticipation for what He wanted me to call this coming year - 2014.  

I started Naming the Year in 2011, after reading Ann Voskamp’s blog, A Holy Experience. There is power, growth, blessing in giving a name to your year - allowing the Lord to make you focus on one truth for 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days. This through joy and memory making moments, as well as despairing and disappointing situations. 

2011 was the Year of Rebuilding Relationships. It was my first year. To say the truth, quite a wobbly year, and by December 2011, I wasn’t sure I had accomplished my goal. 

2012 was the Year of Eucharisteo - Being thankful! It was just after I read One Thousand Gifts. It changed my life, my perspective and my picture of God, tremendously! It was a difficult year - two more miscarriages, after 7 healthy babies in 14 years. You can do the math, it wasn’t like I had any problems in getting pregnant or keeping my babies! The Lord sustained me with Eucharisteo.

2013 was the Year of Charis - Grace.

One thing I knew while praying for the Lord’s guidance in the Name of this Year, was that I want to have more of Him… more of His amazing grace that will pull me towards loving Him more and serving Him more, trusting Him more, so I would toil less, wait on Him, let Him be God in my life.

For a week, days before Christmas I prayed day and night. Lord what was the name of 2014 to be?  It came to me the day after Christmas, but I only recognised it a few days later. Three times over a few days I ran into verses with the name and it was only after it was posted on my Facebook wall that it hit me! 

Twice in 48 hours I got the verses in Matthew 11:28
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

Then I got Hosea 11:11 in the Knox translation:
“And in their own home, says the Lord, I will give them rest.”

Oh, the joy and peace - I just knew it was right - REST.

The Lord wants me to rest in Him in 2014. Wow, what a hope, expectation, what a promise.

The past 3 months I’m studying Hebrews. And all the time while I was seeking the Lord for a name of this year, I knew it will have to do with the powerful message of Hebrews. The message of growing in my faith, but also in trusting the Lord more and more, pleasing Him more and more with my faith. But the most important, I remembered from the very first verses, “Entering His Rest.”  Oh, how I long to enter His rest, even more so since I’ve experienced his grace so powerful in my life in 2013.

It was almost like mountains lifting off my shoulders. The knowing in this year my goal will be to rest in my Lord. How I’m looking forward to undergo Real-Life-Training in How to rest in the Lord!

When I look back at the passing year, 2013, and how the Lord taught me about His grace in my life, I’m in absolute awe.  Coming from a conservative church as a child, grace was almost…. cheap. Everything was grace. Then in my thirtieth year I came to know the wrath of the Lord, and how He hates sin. He took us through the dessert and He taught us about obedience. He showed us His truths and how He long for us to walk in His truths, throwing off everything that entangled us - sin.  I came to know the Lord as the Lion, and not only the Lamb I knew in my first 25years or so. 

But as in everything when you stumble upon a new truth, you can easily become off balance. I only focused on truth and obedience. I knew I couldn’t earn my salvation, but I was pretty sure I could earn blessings from the Lord through my obedience. And whenever things went wrong, I was convinced I brought if over myself with disobedience of some kind. 

Through counting the gifts in 2012, I gradually came to see a new grace. A totally different grace than what I came to know as a child in the conservative church. Through 2013’s Name, Charis - Grace, I wanted to know the true meaning of grace. I wanted to experience my Lord’s grace. It was beyond what I could ever have thought or asked… The Lord just overwhelmed me with His grace and wiped out all the distorted believes I had about grace. Through real life experiences, often hopeless and desperate situations, He personally taught me about His REAL grace. The grace that He demonstrated to me on the cross, while I was still in the depths of despair, become more real in every day situations of despair and hopelessness. Nothing I did in the past, will do in the future or does in the present, could validate the blessings I received from the Lord in the Year 2013.

It overwhelmed me, day after day, and it was all grace. The beauty of it all was, the more I received His grace, the more I was drawn to God, to His love and to love Him. To love Him for Whom He is, my Heavenly Father.

As I studied the scriptures on Rest the past two days, it was awesome to read the true meaning of “Anapavo” - Rest. 
It describes a cessation from toil, a refreshment, an intermission.  
When I read it alongside Hebrews 4, I came to understand true rest come by diligently hearing the Word of God and to let it profit me, mixed with faith.  That was exactly what I sensed in my spirit, while praying for the Name of 2014.

How I long to be a Giant in Faith!  But for that to surface I need to go through gigantic tests of faith. That is a scary thought. I had to ask myself, why do I want to be a Giant in Faith? The answer: So I can rest, and have peace, while feeding on God’s grace and faithfulness, in this world of toil and hardship, lies and deception. This past year I came to have a taste of His grace, now I am in anticipation to experience all the facets of His rest in the next 12 months, 52 weeks and 365 days.

My prayer for 2014:
"Dear LordThank you for this Word. I’m so looking forward to experiencing your faithfulness in showing me You can give me rest in situations that I’ll see impossible. Just as you already proved Yourself faithful to extend grace in situations where I deserved noting, was beyond hope, with little or total lack of faith. Thank you Lord, I’m waiting on You.In Jesus’ precious NameAmen”

What is the Name of your Year?

With much love


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