EOY Reflection: REMOVE

Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways! Romans 11:33 NLT

I love the invitation of the Advent season to take each day to focus on Jesus and God’s redemptive plan. I did not always mark Advent. It really was not until I started Bible journaling that it became a part of my yearly rhythm. After some significant time unplugging from the Gram and blogging, I am excited to step my toe back in the posting waters to participate in Advent in community. There is something special about getting into the posture of remembrance and anticipation with other believers.

I am making my way through the season with several devotionals (because–all the things,) but it is BytheWell4God’s Witness to Wonder that is moving me to write today. This study spans both the Old and New Testaments in recounting those who were witnesses to the unfolding of God’s redemptive plan. I think this devotional is speaking to me in taking the long view as I have also begun the process of my year-end reflections. My thoughts on my 2021 have been organizing themselves into two categories–“Before the Move” and “After the Move.” In each half of my year, I can see how God has given our family some divine “sneak peeks” into the story He is continuing to unfold for us.

As I look back…

Before the move, I was stretched thin, worn out, and running on autopilot. I was balancing a new and busy baby with a leadership position at work that needed more hours in the day than I had. Add to that married life, fourth-grade homework, teaching, and a hot mess of health ailments that no one had answers for. I was an octopus reaching in 8 different directions at once, and I had accepted I was an octopus.

In the spring, it was time to sign our contracts for the next academic year, and I had no peace. I could not bring myself to sign as is. I knew something had to change. I had several conversations with my colleagues trying to change the terms or talk myself into or out of my job (it really depended on the hour of the day). I loved being in a position to help others and try in some small way to improve the experiences of students on our campus, but it was a position of intense output when my life had few inputs.

Fast forward…

After the move, I was relieved. It has taken several months to decompress and disentangle from the work I was doing, but with every unravel I found I could feel parts of me that I could not feel before. I thought for much of the year that I was still dealing with mommy brain. I was pretty sure that the feeling I could not finish a complete creative thought was due to a little one waking me up every night and being on my hip all day. I thought it was par for the course of remote work and caregiving. Sure it was some of that, but it was also Zoom Fog, Excel Eyes, and Circular Conversation overload. The further I have gotten from that work, the closer I have gotten to clearer senses. The closer I have gotten to me and the knowledge that I am not an octopus after all.

Image reads: Remove: to take (something) away or off from the position occupied.
"Oh, how great are God's riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways!" Romans 11:33 NLT

We moved because God moved. He moved to advance my husband’s work and to remove me from an unhealthy situation. In the world’s economy I lost a lot (position, income, proximity to home and ocean waves), but what I have gained in wellness and peace is priceless. In God’s economy, subtraction was actually multiplication.

I do not know what is next in our story, but I am grateful for this reminder that when I do not understand His ways, I can trust in His wisdom. Sometimes in order for God to move us to the wonder He has in store, He has to remove us from where we are now. No matter how it feels, His re/moving is always purposeful.

The question that ends Day 1 of BTW4G’s Witness to Wonder is this: “Have you seen sneak peeks of God doing something wonder-inspiring in your life? Praise Him for that right now!” Sometimes we assume that the sneak peeks of wonder happen when God moves to open doors and paths we did not anticipate. I am learning that removal too could be an indication that something wonderful is coming.

What has God removed you from (or removed from you) this year while He is working a new thing in your life?

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