The end of the year always draws me toward changes.
Changes in habits.
Changes in diet.
Changes in work.
Changes in appearance.
Changes in opinion.
Changes in, well, you name it.
2018 has been a hard year for me. Anyone else in that boat with me? I would love to be entering into 2019 having made so many visible changes. But I am not. God reminded me that, while I do not have many visible changes (25 pounds, give or take; shorter hair, by default; way less material possessions and a mindset to match), I have a lot of invisible ones. I have learned so much this year about obedience and what that REALLY looks like. I doesn’t always look pretty, to be sure. Nor does it consistently look “right.”
So as 2019 seems to be coming full steam, way faster than what I prefer, I cannot lose sight of plans that need to be made. I dedicated 2018 to the Lord way back in January, but I grabbed it back from Him as often as I handed it over. Did all that I learned about obedience set me up for success in 2019?
But it set me up for a game plan that has a better chance of succeeding. I entered 2018 with clouded vision in some key areas of life. God has allowed me to work through so much to get to a point where I now KNOW certain things that I did not KNOW at the start of the year.
Knowing has to begin with my knowledge and understanding of God and His word. It is impossible to put any other event into perspective without knowing God. I have watched Him reveal things to me very slow and steady all year. And the surprising thing is, some of the stuff I learned should have been a bit overwhelming and even devastating. But because I had been adequately prepared, I was able to see everything He revealed in light of how I could use the information to become more Christ-like.
I have a much greater realization of the me that I want to be, because I have a greater realization of the me I am and the me I once was. I am becoming very aware of where I do not fit in; where I am trying to be someone I am not so that I will fit in where I really do not need to be.
Changes. That is what that equates to.
TO BE KNOWN
Who do you desire to be known by? To me there is only ONE I want to be known by. And he has all the information about me that I have forgotten or selectively chosen to bury or have changed around in my mind to be something it isn’t. It is hard to discern how to overcome your past when you have distorted it and forgotten it to a large degree.
So my main platform going into the new year, and even wading through the last 53 days of the old year, is to open myself to being known by God and setting my mind to know Him as well as I can. I want Him to take this so-much less-than-perfect-sinner-saved-by-grace and transform her into something else.
But, what else? What if God’s plans are different than mine? There are some things I can be sure of:
He wants me to pursue health. He did not give me a body so that I could destroy it. And if I , for one minute, try to convince myself that my destruction doesn’t upset/anger him, then I am deluded far more than I once thought. But God’s anger does not make Him unwilling to come to my aide nor love me any less.
He wants me to do something with the hard things that I have learned. I do not know what that is yet. To do anything would mean affecting other people, some innocent. Is that right to do? Big prayer focus for the next month and a half. Possibly, what I am to do is make the choice to do nothing, including let it define or negatively affect me.
God expects me to properly handle the finances he has blessed me with. While it is very hard, I have to have my mind in a place that agrees with God where my money is concerned. The hard part of this is others who are blessed with much greater resources that myself are always asking me to spend on things I am confident God is not saying GO to. I used to give until I didn’t have enough left, because I thought that giving was always right. But sometimes,
OTHERS are who God is asking to do the giving. I need to learn this to a greater degree.
Hard things. I believe every single person comes across our path because God directs them there. But I also believe that He removes people as well. Or more precisely, He asks you to remove people; people who are no longer serving Him well or serving you well or, even more, you are not serving them well. It is hard to remove people, but easier if you can confirm God’s blessing on it all.
I am seeking out a word for 2019. My 2018 word served me well. I started with a list of about 70 words, and I now have 14 semi-finals:
BE ENOUGH RISE
COMMIT FINISH REFLECT
CREATE HEAL SURRENDER
CULTIVATE IMAGINE WORTHY
DISCIPLINE REACH AUTHENTIC
For now, I am praying through these words. I have defined them all, and I have no idea what God might have in mind. What if a word I have not even considered will infect my brain? Praise the Lord!!
What are you doing to prepare for 2019? Don’t let this just be another year to stumble through without any solid direction or goals before you! I tend to enter the new year with a fast of cleanse, but God has been feeding me info to show me how bad of a practice that is for someone who deals with compulsive eating. I am going to prepare myself for victory in 2019, but God will have the privilege of defining that victory.
Hmmm, should victory be on my list???