Well, we’re entering into another new year. The anticipation is always exciting. New beginnings, fresh starts, re-do’s, new, new, new! That always seems to be the overall theme of heading into a new year. For me, that was before. This year has been so different, and I’m so thankful for that.
I’ve been hearing from a lot of people how bad 2016 was for them. And I don’t doubt that for some. I know it’s been a really hard year for people. However, if we look at each year as a beginning and end, I don’t know if we’ll ever be satisfied? Here’s what I mean........
We tend to think, “This year is my year!” Or “This is the year I will hit my goals!” Or, “This is the year I will make all of my changes!” and so much more. Then we think we only have 365 days to make those changes. Life happens, things come up, and we enter into the next new year with feelings of failure and hopelessness. I see and hear this year after year. And that used to be me!
What if it didn’t have to be that way? What if we didn’t look at things through “365 days to get it all done or you are a big, fat failure!” eyes?! There is another way. At the beginning of 2016 I sat quietly and worked through my PowerSheets. (these are an incredible tool from Lara Casey to help you focus and be intentional with your new year- I highly recommend these!) I set many goals for the new year. Filled out the beginning pages thoroughly, used colored pencils to make it all pretty, and closed it up with plans to be diligent in coming back to it over the year. Well, I’m sure you can guess what happened. LIFE. To be honest, I’m not sure I even opened those back up the rest of the year! However, when I revisited them at the beginning of December, something incredible happened to me.
I looked at all of my goals I set for MYSELF. I went down the list and noticed that I didn’t accomplish one of them.....not one! Until I got to the very last goal. As I read it, I started to choke up and realize how the Lord worked on me this past year.
It read, “Not believe the devil’s lies about me! Believe Jesus’s truths about me!”
And I can say, with 100% accuracy, that this was accomplished this past year. (I’ll blog more on that later) The Lord was very creative in how He worked this out. You see, sometimes what we think we need to work on and change, isn’t what the Lord thinks we need to work on and change. He has different plans for us, and even when we think it’s not working out for us, He is working it out for us! The Lord knew I needed my last goal I set for myself to be my first goal. And if that was the only goal that was accomplished, then that would be enough. And it was. Everything happens on HIS timing....not mine. And I can guarantee HIS timing doesn’t involve only 365 days. It is ongoing and it changes and molds THROUGH the years. How exciting to know I’M NOT FINISHED or better yet, THE LORD’S NOT FINISHED?!
It is very humbling to look at a list of goals I set and to see the very last one was the only one accomplished, and that I had nothing to do with that. It was all the work of the Lord.
So the point I’m trying to make is this, when we actually surrender OUR plans to the Lord’s plans, things look and feel different. There is a shift that takes place in our hearts and true change begins to happen. That’s when we REALLY feel accomplished.
Heading into this new year, I feel very hopeful. I feel like it’s just the beginning and that I want to keep my eyes open for the journey. Sure, I’m setting some new goals, making plans, and dreaming big. But I am going to be more “open” I’m not going to set deadlines or place pressure on myself to accomplish these goals before December 31, 2017. I will do my best to refer back to my new PowerSheets, but it’s not the end for me. Or for you!
My Jesus Calling devotional today was the perfect word to end my year on. A part that stuck out the most was the following:
“My abundance and your emptiness are a perfect match. I designed you to have no sufficiency of your own.”
I, you, we can’t do this life on our own. I pray you all surrender your plans to the Lord’s plans. I pray this new year opens your eyes to all the Lord is working on in your life. I pray you leave more room for the Lord in your life. And I pray you all have a very blessed 2017!