2 words this year: Leave and Reset. UGH God is so good and hindsight is such a blessing. I feel like I need to tell people about this.
I don’t even remember how I came to posses Through Painted Deserts by Donald Miller. I think I stole it from my dad’s office when I was home from school one weekend, which is so weird, because the cover is really hideous (no offense D-Mil) and I have no clue why it would’ve stood out to me. But somehow I ended up with a copy, and on one particular night in my dorm, I opened it up and started to read it.
I made it through the prologue.
I want to repeat one word for you:
Roll the word around on your tongue for a bit. It is a beautiful word, isn’t it? So strong and forceful, the way you have always wanted to be. And you will not be alone. You have never been alone. Don’t worry. Everything will still be here when you get back. It is you who will have changed.
UGH. I DIED. I didn’t understand why at the time, but the prologue hit my soul. And that one word: Leave. —I loved it. It was so beautiful. It felt like God was speaking to me. So I jotted down half the prologue verbatim into my journal, because that’s how I roll.
A month or so later, my dad called and announced that he was leaving the Bridge, and I wasn’t surprised at all, even though he had hardly talked about it, and I knew, I just knew, that it was right. That he was meant to Leave.
Then another month later, he actually did leave. And it was much harder than I thought it would be. I was angry and bitter and jealous and grieved. I felt abandoned by this thing that I had poured my soul into for five years—that we had worked so hard to make better. And I didn’t understand what it had all been for.
I was driving back to school from Christmas break, wrestling with all this stuff, and I started playing a podcast of Pete Briscoe’s latest sermon. He was starting a new series, titled Reset.
Reset takes you back to the default factory stuff that is in there. It takes you all the way back to the beginning. It basically erases everything and makes you start over. It’s nice because you’re starting over and everything’s clean, but, wow, all the stuff you’ve been working on has kind of disappeared as well…
I’m convinced that the church needs a reset because I think we’ve got some viruses we need to eradicate, and we need to be restored to our essential functionality.
WOW. My heart ached. Okay. There’s so much wrong with this church culture we’re in right now—and I’ve been consumed by it for so long. Fine, okay Lord, this is a Reset time. I see that. Okay.
And this seriously has been a major reset period. Major. Wow. Seeing so much clearer now. Less angry. Less prejudice towards megachurches. Less judgy. Less worried about it. Truly. And the Lord knew how long it would take, too. To get over things. To go through all the stages. To finally let go—all of us. I asked God to hurry up so many times. Pft. Never again. He knew.
Reset, Leave. These words have defined the year. And they were so clearly from the Lord. I don’t always keep my ears open enough to understand fully what God is saying. But this was so clear. I’m blown away that he spoke to me. I know he’s always speaking to us, but still, what a blessing. Thank you, Lord. I’m sorry for being so whiny. And I kinda hope this season is almost over, but I am so grateful for this year. I’ve never experienced you like this before. How little did I know a year ago, when I sat in my lofted bed and started Deserts. Six years, one year…I have a new perception of time. Please don’t let me forget it.