October 29, 2014

Moving On, Gearing Up

Any of you read Proverbs 16:9 lately? Here it is, just in case:

"In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD directs his steps."

That sums up my 2014 entirely. At the beginning of this year, my life was--well, if I'm being honest, pretty boring and stagnant. I was doing the same thing week after week, none of it particularly exciting, and I was getting stir crazy. Maybe even desperate. So when the new year rolled around I decided enough was enough and I was taking matters into my own hands simply to keep from wasting my life and dying of boredom. I decided that if I couldn't have an exciting life, I would at least have a productive one.
I set a list of goals, projects, and plans, and started putting them into action.

And God said "Ha-ha."

Since then it's been a non-stop whirlwind, physical, spiritual, and emotional--and none of it is my doing. None of the things I set out to do have been done. None of the plans I made have come to pass. None of the goals I set have been met. The plans I had already put into action, I had to pull the plug on, because God's plans pushed them out of the way.
But at the same time, I've had experiences I never thought I would have. I've seen things that blew my mind and left me speechless with their beauty and wonder. I have received the most wonderful blessings, blessings that I could never possibly deserve, that are beyond my wildest dreams.
I've gone hard, worked myself to complete exhaustion, put in long days, late nights, wrestled with God and with myself, faced new challenges and obstacles, cried both happy and sad tears (far more than I could count), but in everything--everything--God has kept His word and been right there with me, directing my steps. 
This year has run me ragged, true. But more importantly, it has taught me what it truly means for God to direct my steps. 
It's taught me that no matter what we plan or how wonderful we think it is, God's plan is always, always infinitely better. Even when we think nothing could be better than what we wanted or planned or asked for. 
It has taught me the indescribable beauty and joy and power in simply being still, and knowing that God is God.
It has taught me how to let go of my own plans, my own desires, and my own will, to lay them in God's hands and let Him transform them into something even better, something so wonderful we never even thought of hoping for it, something that seems far too good to be true but is just another token of how much He really loves His people.
In some ways, this has been the hardest year of my life. In other ways it's been the best year of my life. In some ways it feels like the doorway leading to the most blessed and beautiful rest of my life I could even imagine or hope for. This year, I have understood more of God than ever before, and it has made me realize that I don't really understand anything at all. The knowledge I have of Him is so tiny, so infinitesimal, and no matter how much I learn I will never, ever reach the end of Him. And that is an awesome feeling.

I know all this sounds like a New Year's Eve speech, while we still have two months of 2014 left, but this is what was on my heart to write about this evening, so I went with it.
As for those two remaining months, well, in the first place I'm planning (against all sanity and sound judgment) to participate in NaNoWriMo yet again. (Of course, saying "I'm planning" anything sounds extremely ironic after what I just wrote, but...well, I guess we'll see what comes of it. To check out my NaNo and this year's project, Click Here.

Now, some of you may be wondering why it's so much more insane for me to participate in NaNo this year than any other. Well, in the first place, I'm going to be starting late, as I'm helping a friend out with her wedding on November 1st. (I tried to convince her that the wedding could wait until December for the sake of NaNo, but she seemed to think the wedding took precedence. Go figure. ; P )
But secondly, my novel, Song of the Wren-Falcon, is set to release in November! *cue marching band and screaming crowds* We don't have the specific date set yet, but I'll be letting you know as soon as we do.
So, yeah. NaNoWriMo, friend's wedding, book launch, (plus I think there may be some kind of holiday in there somewhere)...no biggie, right? I'm sure it will all be fine.
As usual, I'll be journaling NaNo, so be sure to stick around for that, and if you're participating this year and haven't done so yet, be sure to look me up on the site. I'd be delighted to add you as a writing buddy.

Until next time!