If there is a song that encapsulates my experiences of the past year it would be “New Wine” by Hillsong United.
“In the crushing
In the pressing
You are making
In the soil, I
You are breaking
So I yield to You and to Your careful hand
When I trust You I don’t need to understand
Make me Your vessel
Make me an offering
Make me whatever You want me to be
I came here with nothing
But all You have given me
Jesus, bring new wine out of me…”
The pressing, crushing, breaking, digging, pruning, and purifying has been so painful yet essential on my path of spiritual and emotional growth.
God broke into my darkness, grief, sin, and sorrow and invited me to root out some deeply implanted lies I had come to embrace about my own identity, as well as lies I had accepted about who He is and is not. He is the master gardener, vinedresser, and winemaker. Even when I could not perceive or comprehend the intricacies of His work, He was subtly tilling the soil of my heart. He only asked that I remain docile to His Holy Spirit, and allow Him to breathe new life into the garden of my soul.
Docility to the Holy Spirit can be challenging, especially if you are a chronic planner (controller) like me.
It is a leap of faith for me to trust and surrender my plans, fears, and pride to the Lord. I am learning, sometimes begrudgingly, how to entrust and conform my will, desires, and hopes to the One who can restore all things, redeem all things and create new things from brokenness. In my small acts of surrender, I am learning new truths about myself but more importantly about my Lord.
He is gentle. He is kind. He is merciful. He is playful. He delights in me. He embraces, sees, understands and never abandons me. He sees my fears, anxieties, hopes, and desires. He does not permit unnecessary struggle or suffering, and always carries the heavier yoke of my burden. I am worthy of His love. I am worthy of His compassion and mercy. I am His beloved, and He works all for good.
This letting go has been beautifully laborious.
At times, God has to pry the control from my hands, but I am learning that the more I let go, the more space He has to work and provide for me. Of course, His providence is always better than the plans I concoct for my own life. So, in this new season of surrender, I am striving daily to intentionally create space for the Holy Spirit to work in and through my life. It is essential that every day I carve out quiet time to sit with God, time to just be silent. Silence paves the way for intimacy, it is the avenue in which the Lord comes to know me and I come to know Him.
The more I come to know His voice and His ways, the greater confidence I have to actively yield to Him and acknowledge that He is always by my side. Too long I tried to fight my battles alone, only to be met with discouragement and defeat. This disposition of trust is a new frame of mind for me, and I am learning through practice, patience, and prayer the discipline of submission.
So in this new season, I pray I can embrace the struggle of the pressing, crushing, breaking, digging, and pruning knowing it is ushering in new life and virtue.
Through the struggle, I am allowing God to refine and restore me so that He can create a new faith, hope, and love within my heart and soul. A love I hope to share with others. Jesus truly is the Way, the Truth and the Life, and apart from Him, I can do nothing.