The finishing of 2014 was HARD.
I don't know how it was for some of you, but I "labored" my way through until December 31st.
My emotions were all out of wack, I seemed to have a bit of brain fog, and I had no idea how I was going to make the finish line regarding promises yet to unfold.
But somehow I knew...
Somehow I knew, if we could make it to 2015, there would be a victory, a turnaround, a rest, and the beginning of a fulfillment of things we've waited for.
I can't fully explain how I knew this, but it's just one of those downloads I got during my many tear-filled prayer times with God in December.
As we take intentional and unknown steps into 2015, I wanted to encourage your heart.
Your choices matters. Your thoughts matters. And as you know, your thoughts form your actions, your actions habits, and your habits become your character.
I realized the pressing, the pushing, and the tension I had been feeling the latter half of 2014 had a lot to do with getting me out of my comfort zone and ready for the next big phase of my life, and not so much a marker of punishment for doing something wrong or off kilter.
Right living has its very real and true rewards.
Often times, one feels like a sucka for waiting and choosing the "narrow" way.
And many times, the narrow way can feel suffocating and almost, downright painful.
But let me repeat, right living has its very real and true rewards. Just you wait and see.
And if you just read that last sentence feeling a little nervous and guilty-- DON'T.
There's no need for you to feel guilty Beloved, right now, this very moment has become your tender mercies, your fresh start. So let it be.
Just humble yourself. Make that declaration before God and then prepare to listen to what He wants to tell you next. And seek out people that are faithfully grounded. Those you trust, admire, and actually want to be around.
Okay. I'm not quite sure why I went down that little rabbit trail, but I'm sure that was for someone.
But back to my "labor".
God has been birthing a new level of faith in me.
To believe beyond the dream of dreams for you and I. Even in the midst of waiting for other dreams to manifest.
There is rest coming to our hearts this year. It is a part of the promise that God is fulfilling in our hearts.
I still believe that God is good, that He is kind, and that He is faithful.
So much so, that I chose, as an act of my will to celebrate the coming of 2015 with a bang. Because I felt this year in particular was going to be indicative of celebration.
Normally, my idea of a New Year's Eve celebration would involve pajamas, brownies, tears, and Carson Daly in Times Square.
But this year, I celebrated in an intentional way with two specific friends. Friends of mine that have prayed and believed with me for their own promises as well as my own.
It was a declaration of sorts.
And now, here we are.
It is 2015.
My heart is full of expectation and new hope.
What does it look like to "Hope against hope"?
It looks like 2015.
The facts would say, "Patrice, you're getting older and your chances of meeting a quality "king" of sorts is near impossible. Your original hope of meeting someone in your 20s is now over...and the ministry plans and career plans you have will simply have to continue solo..."
But the miracle of "Hope against hope" would say, "Patrice, you will meet your boo-king at just the right time. He will know. And you will know. And it will be as though no time was ever lost. And the two of you will continue God's love legacy in a powerful way, speaking redemption and hope over those still in the battle and in the wait.
Because God is so good, kind, and faithful, even in the midst of impossibilities."
Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace
and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law
but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all.
As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.”
He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—
the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not.
Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed
and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him,
“So shall your offspring be.” Without weakening in his faith,
he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—
since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead.
Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God,
but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God,
being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.
This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.”
The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, but also for us,
to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.