Every year life has gotten better for us and 2016 was no different. Life has not necessarily gotten easier, but better! Despite still facing challenges, the years continue getting better because with each life experience God teaches me something new.
Even the tragedies and crisis we have endured over the years have offered me opportunities. Opportunities to grow in the Lord. Time and time again God has showed up in our lives. He has reassured me that he will never leave me nor forsake me and his presence in our lives reminds me that God ALWAYS wins! Learning to put my trust in God has been a long process. A process that has taught me to trust and embrace the journey God has us on.
At 37, I have a better understanding of my purpose and God’s plan and purpose for our journey. I no longer spend my time dwelling on what should have, could have, would have been. I don’t seek to understand things, because I know my God promises to offer me a peace beyond my own understand.
"And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:7)
Over the years I have gained tools and strategies the help me find comfort and delight in the Lord, no matter where life is at or how dark the moment may be.
My once constant need to control things for all of the complications in our lives that were out of my control, has diminished. I have learned to lay my burdens at the feet of Jesus. Countless mistakes have taught me that learning to rely fully on God is the only way to overcome the obstacles in our lives. I no longer waste my thoughts and energy worrying about the things I cannot control because I know I serve a mighty God who's plans and purpose for my life are far greater than I have the ability to control anyway.
I have spent many years of my life fighting an uphill battle. I have failed, fallen and learned how to get back up, and even injured myself in the process. All of that being said, what God has taught me is that I don't need to climb mountains when I serve a God who can move them.
I know that the coming year will include challenges, for that is the nature of life. I also know that through those challenges God will allow me the opportunity to grow, better understand my purpose, the purpose of our journey, and to trust him even more. God has yet to change my situation and if that is not his plan for me, I'm content with that because I trust him. What has changed is my heart and perspective.
So my resolutions going into do 2017 are much different than what they've been in previous years. My resolutions are to learn to trust and rely on God even more, to let his voice and promises speak louder than the voice of fear and doubt in my mind. I want to continue to find opportunities to grow in the Lord, relying on him more and myself and others less. I want to love a little harder, give a little more, encourage, inspire, empower, and to allow the love of Christ to shine through me in all things that I do and all encounters that I have.
I'm devoting 2017 to living more intentionally for Christ!
I want more intimate conversations with him.
I will read his word more frequently and faithfully stand on his promises.
I will not spend my prayer time asking for what I do not yet have and instead will spend our time together thanking him for all the provision he has already blessed us with.
I will seek discernment, listen for his voice, and fearlessly go wherever he leads me and do whatever he calls me to do.
I will look at obstacles and challenges as opportunities to grow closer to him.
I will learn to worship him through the storm and in the sunshine.
I will count my blessings without complaint of the things my flesh desires.
I will keep my eyes on the prize.
I spent a large part of my life questioning my purpose and how the difficulties in our journey could create anything beautiful. Once I learned to fully rely on God, he answered those questions for me. God is always there, he is with us even in the moments we feel so alone, God and God alone can transform any crisis, trauma, and/or tragedy into a beautiful piece of art, we just have to be willing to surrender the brush and let him create our masterpiece.
So I might not get skinny or give up habits in 2017, but I will definitely continue to give up my life as an offering unto God.
“But thank God! He has made us his captives and continues to lead us along in Christ's triumphal procession. Now he uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume.” (2 Corinthians 2:14)
Happy New Years… and remember that THE BEST IS STILL YET TO COME! Walk into 2017 with confidence!