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  • Writer's pictureHeather Simmons

The one with the Phoenix

For those of you who've been following along for a minute (which I'm sure is just my Madre), you know that October is when I begin my New Year. For all ten of you who are a bit tardy to the party, see this post for context. True to form, I've been spending the month of September ruminating over 2017's word and opening my heart for this year's word. I've gone to the beach and I've sat in silence, waiting for Him to speak. While my next word is still in limbo, I have all the thoughts about revival and how it changed me this past year.

Revival did not come in the manner I was expecting, although by now you would think I'd understand that bit about life. It came to me under the guise of uprooting. The beginning of the year seemed so harmless and even beneficial -- I had finally hit my stride balancing work life with tallulah life, and I assumed this was the revival. Being able to manage both simultaneously felt so good and absolutely put the wind back in my sails. tallulah actually had a banner year! It all felt manageable. It all felt balanced. There's the word, I thought to myself. I've got it figured out by February. This is great! I'm going to revive my work life and this crazy word situation will only affect one area of my life. Puh-lease. Rookie mistake.

Since July, I've been uprooted from my home, my job, and my town in order to create space for this revival. I was kicked out of my house with one month's notice. I was offered a job halfway across the country but had to turn it down. I had to scramble to find a place to live and a bunch of ridiculously unrelated situations fell seamlessly into place within two weeks, which made all signs point to Florence, AL as my next stop. "To revive" normally means "to resuscitate"; in my case, it meant "to create upheaval". "Fan into flame" felt more like "burn to the ground". This was definitely not what I was expecting. Turns out THE WHOLE YEAR has been nothing but an orchestration of events and experiences in order to make space for the word. Revival hasn't even happened yet - He's just razed the earth, excavated the foundation and tilled up the ashes for a fresh start. I'm telling you, He's a cheeky one.

If you'd told me a year ago that I'd no longer be at Madewell and no longer living in Birmingham, I'd have laughed at you and asked you for a sip of whatever miniature you were carrying around in your purse. Clearly you've been drinking. But allowing Him to run the show is often anything but typical, and faith and trust have led me to unemployment and uncertainty. I've been told they're the perfect platform for revival, so you know, there's that. Let's please cross our collective fingers and pray that a Phoenix rises from these ashes. I've done all the trusting - now He has to do all the reviving.

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