January 28, 2011
I have an image in my head of Jesus standing in front of a pile of filthy mud-caked mirrors. The mud is so thick and crusted it encases the entire pile. He stands there as though waiting patiently, and barely, a glint escapes from the pile. Of course he has seen it, but still he seems to wait. Again there is a glint, and another, and another. This seems to be what the Master was waiting for because he deliberately reaches down and picks up the filthy mirror that reflected the brilliant flashes.
As he grasps it, no sludge sticks to his fingers and he doesnt try to avoid the particularly grimey spots. He peers into the dark murky glass with an expression of familiarity and commences to sloughing off the mud. In some places His brilliance dances in the newly clean glass and in other places the mud sticks fast and even seems to creep back into place. But he continues diligently and deliberately until the mirror finally reflects his countenance. Then he gingerly hangs it up at the right angle so that His light is reflected from that mirror onto the mud entombed mirrors on the floor. He stands back expectantly. There, from the bottom of the pile, a glint.
This is My One Word to me. It is a process by which we position ourselves to be what God created us to be: bearers of his image. At inception, what drives us to commit to a certain word should be a heart for Gods purposes and not our own. It is easy to make lists of all the things that we dislike about ourselves, all the things that keep us from making the cut, all the things that separate us from the idealized version of self. But what makes us change, the thing that shows the Lord we are ready to be freed from our mess, is that glint of Him in us. When we want His brilliance to overtake us is when the work can start to be done.
When I committed to My One Word fully for the first time two years ago I walked a fine line between serving myself and submitting to Gods formation of my soul. God had brought me through some very serious circumstances in my life. Through those trials, I thought that I was fully depending on the Lord. But in actuality, I only let myself surrender enough to include God in my anxiety/fear idolatry. I prayed out of fear. I had quiet time in anxious overdrive.
I basically asked God to bless my worry. I hated this about myself. I knew it drove me from the God that loved me and that was not fickle about that love. So, in January of 2009 my word was be. I wanted to just be the creation God planned me to be, to rest in Him and not feel the weight and blight of the world on my shoulders. I tried so much in my own power the first two months to just be. Self-serving had made me miss the point of the formation my heart needed.
In March of that year, the day before my birthday, my father had a stroke. He lived in a vegetative state until the fourth of July, when he passed. On that day in March I began to learn what it meant to be and none of it was about my own strength to do anything. It was about the work God was doing in me, for His glory. I kept the word in 2010 too. I felt God through the storm pulling me toward him, and with that new year he taught me how to be in the wake.
This year, God spoke the word courage directly to my heart. Courage feels like another year of be in a sense, just more specific in the action God (not me) wants me to take. I pray fervently that I allow the Master to clean away all the dirt and mud that feels safe. I want to reflect his brilliant image. I want to be placed so that His image can be seen by others.
J’vanete is married and the mother of two. She enjoys being with family, laughing, dancing, good music, and good food. She loves learning and using what she has learned to help the people around her. Volunteering in different capacities within the community is one way she demonstrates her committment to intentionally caring for others and being the change she wants to see in the world.