As I start this New Year, I reflect on just how much God has been weaving so much love, care, and provision into my life. He has been faithful to allow me to pursue an education that will be worthy of His calling on my life; He has remained faithful during some of the most devastating betrayals, He continues to open up business opportunities which are slowly and steadily guiding me to the place He has for me, and He surrounds me with friends who encourage and love this girl and who continue to delight her with the truth about how she really has and continues to change their world for the better.
2015 was about intention…keeping my eyes on the end goal no matter what happened during the journey. 2016 is a continuation of that intention…fully experiencing the journey, with no shortcuts, and trusting that God will continue to reveal the plan He has already established for me.
2015 was an interesting and challenging journey. I have learned much about myself and have set healthy boundaries that I know will forever change the course of my life. While some changes have been very painful, they were necessary. Searching one’s own soul is never easy or pretty, but once I owned my junk, I found that it really is true that light dispels darkness. 2016 will be a continuation of exposing those things and replacing them with things that give life to myself and others.
Spiritually in 2015, God had me on a journey in which I was challenged to drop my own biases concerning worship, theology, and the experience of the universal church of the saints (according to the Apostle and Nicene Creeds…not the new age mumbo jumbo of this world). 2016 will be about further exploring that church and entering into the experience alongside old and new friends who practice their faith a bit differently than me. I want to return to the awe and wonder of this God who loved me so extravagantly that He humbled Himself to death on a cross to have a relationship with me. He continues to show me that extravagant humility is fierce power in disguise.
Allow 2016 to be a refining process as you search the depths of your own soul, and learn to strip away all the things that distract you from your purpose. Don’t allow fear to keep you from stepping through open doors that might just provide yet another piece of the grand tapestry of your life. Trust that God will shut doors you weren’t intended to walk through.
For those who are struggling to see purpose, start with a thankful heart, even if all you can be thankful for is the ability to say thank you.
For those who are bound by besetting sins, look up and ask God for the ability to take just one step towards freedom.
For those who assume you’re on the right track and that all is well, step back and eat a slice of humble pie. Give more than you take. Listen more. Smile more. Exude gratitude. Be aware of arrogance and pride. They are sneaky little devils.
Finally, rather than resolutions, perhaps revolution is in order. If your resolution won’t bring about revolutionary ideas and changes in the world around you, perhaps reconsideration is in order.
Memorize and act upon Proverbs 4:23 as well as I Corinthians 15:33: “Diligently guard your heart for it determines the course of your life…Do not be deceived (or misled); bad company corrupts good character.”
I lived these verses during 2015 and learned that when all is said and done, there are really only a few that remain. I had to mourn the loss but what I realized was that it freed up my time for God to bring me people who had integrity and displayed positive emotional and spiritual health. People who spoke life over me, who truly cared about my well-being.
Friends, I wish for you the same in 2016. Happy New Year!