gentle year

December 31, 2011

T is one of those rare souls who truly loves listening to another’s heart. So when she asked me about the meaning of this past year, for my life, I knew she really wanted to know. This made me pause, needing to give a true enough answer to do justice to the question. Doing so made me realize that this end-of-the-year has caught me off guard a bit. Usually I guess my reflective tendency makes for more of a leading up to this time of the year. But somehow this time it has simply appeared—popped into my path—in the midst of all the rest of the business [and busy-ness] of life.
What I settled on, after some thought, was that this has been the year of God’s gentleness to me. Early in this year, I heard a sentence spoken straight to my heart: one that calmed my fears about the decision I was about to make, and one that has reappeared in my thought process concerning each subsequent life decision.
God deals with me gently.
This is what was running through my mind one morning, unbidden and unexpected. And this is what I realized was the truth of God’s reality for me in this season of my life.
You see, I am a fearful soul. People do not seem to realize this, judging from an external that appears to be an adventurous dashing-through pattern of living. But this truth is that I am prone to anxiety, and that I think about the future with fearfulness as I anticipate those things that frighten me. I like security. I like simplicity. I like routine. So stepping into the unknown is not a pleasant prospect. And yet I seem to do it rather regularly. But you know, each time I do so, there is an abundance of grace for that step. As I look back on steps I have taken and decisions I have made, I see a pattern of my fear subsiding into a peaceful sense of “Was this what I was so afraid of?” The present reality is never so hard as my imagined anxiety anticipated. In fact, the present of my life is invariably so much more manageable that I end up worrying that there is something wrong with the ease . . . a bomb must drop somewhere, somehow!
So when God spoke those words of gentleness to me, I realized that it was a reminder of the truth in which He deals with me. It is a dealing of grace for my fearful soul—a dealing that takes into account all my insecurities and all my failings. And a dealing that gives me exactly what I can handle. No more, and no less.
By this point in my musings, T and I had reached the top of the hill. The boys caught up with us, we took some summit photos, had some goofy posing fun, and then I chased Joshua back down the hill while G and T followed behind us. We spent the rest of the afternoon playing, and relaxing, in the pools. And by the time we drove back in the evening, we were all weary, in that contentedly relaxed sort of way.
Am I still anxious about the unknowns of this coming year? Certainly. I mean, I even get anxious about the remainder of each day, never mind about an entire year to come! But a deeper knowledge overcomes that fear: the knowledge that my God is a gentle God, and that He guides me in gentle paths.
So let’s do this thing; let’s live this life . . . bring it on! ☺

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4 Responses to “gentle year”

  1. Carol Waffel said

    Love these words and thoughts and the very appropriate photo. I too am an anxious type, but when I pray for the peace that passes understanding, He grants it.

  2. Annette Shierman said

    Love these words and thoughts myself, Anna. It’s a reflection of my own thoughts and feelings much of the time!lol How does that happen?

  3. Teena said

    Very profound, honest and inspiring :-) Thanks.

  4. merrynook said

    Beautiful, Anna. I’ve learned more about you from reading this post:)

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