The Things I Learned This Year...

This year I learned again how to give my heart to God. But this time, it was different, different than ever before. This time, when I gave Him my heart, He whispered to me…Gabi, will you give it all? And I said back to Him, Yes, God. Because You are all. And without You, I am nothing.

So I held my heart out to Him in trembling hands, and gave it over.

January 1, I asked Him to take my heart and to let me love His discipline.

Ok, daughter, He said. I will answer your prayer.

And so this year, He broke my heart.

This year I lost pieces of my heart. Just when I thought I had gained something that would make my heart whole, I lost it. God, oh God, thank You for this mercy. You saw that I thought something outside of You would make me whole, when really it was just stealing me away from You, the very One who is wholeness.

So God chased me down, He gave me the gift of loss. And I grieved. Oh, how I have grieved this year. This beautiful, aching grief that opened up like a dark cave right in the middle of my soul. I wept, secretly, silently, in the black softness of my pillow. I cried and I said thank You. Thank You God for taking away. He gives and He takes away. Blessed be the Name of the Lord.

Then when I thought I could take no more, God, You brought my heart back to me and You showed me these places that were hard. And You said, Gabi, dear one, can I soften this? I looked into Your tear-filled eyes (somehow, I knew those tears were for me), and I said, Yes, Jesus. Always yes. If it means I get molded into Your image, if it means I feel you more, then YES. Yes and yes, a hundred times over.

And so, in the middle of the gaping hollow pain that already was there, God came and peeled away the hard skins that had wrapped up portions of my heart. It was a rending, a surrender that brought me to my knees. It was a repentance that made me bleed and cry tears that I didn’t know existed until that moment.

Then, right into the middle of my bleeding, God brought me a gift. A most beautiful gift. Someone else’s broken heart. Jesus, You saw my surrender, You saw my givenness, and You gave me two broken hearts in return for my one. And I learned something – that a heart that has been broken and given over to the Lord of Hosts is a heart that can pour out an unconditional Love, because through all the gaping hollows of a heart that is given rushes the fountain of Love straight from the heart of the King of endless Love.

I lost and I gained. I gained Christ and I gained the Love of Christ pouring through me onto someone else. I want to live my life in this givenness. Never have I experienced anything more beautiful than this outpouring from me onto someone else because of Christ. I want my life to be about this, always.

Never before have I heard His voice so clearly. This year, hearing Him became as easy as breathing. Because this year it was clear that He was the One I desired more than any other. And when someone desires Jesus, He finds it impossible not to give Himself to that person completely.

So, 2016, I say goodbye to you happily. But I’m also thankful for you because this year, my heart became so cracked open and whole, so steady and so sure. This year my family grew in the most unexpected way as I let two more broken hearts into mine.

In 2017, I think these 2 will multiply into hundreds. 2017 is going to be a year of fulfillment, a year of dreams come true. There’s so much on the horizon – I’m beyond expectant and excited. But somehow I know without 2016 that these 2017 dreams-come-true couldn’t have happened, because in 2016 my heart made its final step of surrender to the Loving Lordship of Christ.

Oh yes, yes….He is everything.