"Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy!"
Psalm 126:5 ESV
I wish I had a better way to describe what 2018 looked like for me other than The Year of Tears. Let me also quickly tell you that it was THE MOST beautiful year + I would gladly shed every one of those tears again + again. This blessed year was all about being remolded, remade + renewed in the most divine ways + that evolution created tears, lots of them! They have been the most soul-nourishing tears I have ever shed!
It’s very difficult to pinpoint exactly when this transformational period really took root. Initially it started in the summer of 2017 with my oldest son, Nate, telling us he didn’t want to miss church anymore. You see, we were just casual church-goers, well intended but non-committal as all get out! Later that fall, after attending weekly as a family, my emotions really began to stir during worship + I was increasingly moved by the carefully crafted message my pastor delivered each week. I was changing, it was slow change but, an opening was being created. Then, one night in October, I ended up at a church event that changed my heart + life forever.
My mom had invited me to countless numbers of these events + each + every one, I declined. I can’t explain to you why I ended up at this one. All I can tell you is I felt like I was supposed to be there + so I went. The event was called Adorned: Living Dressed by the Gospel + the guest speaker was Leslie Bennett of Revive Our Hearts. I’d be lying if I told you I had any idea what the event was about or who the guest speaker was prior to that evening. I was embarrassingly oblivious + awkward as I entered that space yet, I was greeted with love + acceptance. Leslie preached beautifully about traits that mark us as members of God’s family + encouraged us to run a race towards a life that matters + I was fully engaged. One point of the message that simply would not leave me was about learning to sit before the Lord. They showed a video of women from our church who were learning to do that. It left me crying in a room full of strangers + realizing that God had finally chased me down!
That same evening, I signed up to join a group called Titus2 Mentoring Women. This first step set in motion what I now lovingly call “The Year of Tears”. It has been a time of complete surrender + enlightenment; an unfolding of my soul that has grown me more than any other experience in my entire 47 years. It allowed me to receive the greatest, most fulfilling gift you can ever hope for + compelled me to live a life fully laid out for Christ.
Looking back, I realize that He carefully + specifically pulled me away from the world. He used my son in His beautiful plan because He knew that is what it would take for me. He called me to a place where my eyes + ears could be opened to Him + He used every single opportunity there to show me what I had been overlooking. And He did that all while soothing me, beginning His restoration of me + showing me with the kindest heart how I had been failing Him, myself, my family + the world!
I want to share that journey with you, a joyful reaping of many tears sown. I hope by doing so, I can encourage, inspire + nourish the souls of women who, like me, are longing for a simple, significantly illuminated life full of joy, peace, freedom, passion + love!
Are you one of those women? Do you need the encouragement of a humbled + grateful woman walking beside you? Do you need to hear about how significant your life is + how your very best life is at the center of God’s plan? If so, you can follow my story as I reflect on all God revealed to me throughout my Year of Tears.
Michelle Owenby - Guest Blogger
Artist + Blogger
Michelle Owenby Design + The Lovely Crux
Michelle is a Watercolor Artist + Blogger. She is a Grateful + Expectant Daughter of the King! She creates inspired images + words out of devotion to Jesus from her Sullivan's Island, SC home studio. She shares her surrendered life in Christ to encourage, nourish + inspire women who are longing for a life full of joy, freedom, peace, passion + love!
Here you will find a mix of encouraging and inspirational articles written from members within the Community of Christian Creatives.