As the sun went down on the first day of the New Year, I found myself in tears. A plethora of emotions were swirling about inside me as I realized the first 24 hours had almost passed and I was already feeling the apprehension of what I'd write on the empty slate of the next 364 days.
It's common for many to make goals and plans for the upcoming year. For many years, until I trained to be a Life Coach, I met the New Year with no real blueprint for the days to come. I am extremely thankful for the omnipresence of God and His faithfulness in guiding me through those years. To that point I had been without instruction in setting goals and unaware of how this can precipitate the accomplishment of growth and even healing in one's life.
Last year one of my goals was to be more consistent in my writing. Some of the obstacles I would face last year were...
Pressing through to finish a piece when interrupted
Believing in myself … that I have something to share
Making my writing a priority
And most of all....
... to hear what God wanted me to share... hearing the heart of God and following Him. I'm reminded of the Experiencing God Bible study by Blackaby that begins with the statement.
“See where God is at work and get on board with what He is doing.” (paraphrase)
At first I thought of my tears of frustration on the first day of the New Year as a negative barometer of the coming 364 days. After nearly an hour of pecking out something on my computer in an attempt to focus my thoughts for the New Year, I reread it only to find a real distaste for what I'd written. The old voices of fear, doubt and confusion about writing returned. Once again, I said to myself something that sounded like, “perhaps you are not meant to be a writer and your words are not important at all."
It didn't help that I'd also been experiencing some breaking in certain areas of my life as the old year came to a close. Over the last months of 2011, God in His grace began to show me I'd spent enough time in the dark and it was time to come out of the dark and bring my writing and my focus into the light as well. It wasn't until this morning He found a way, as He always does if we allow Him, to show me I was heading back into the dark places. This is how he showed me...
A simple email from Actually Alive by Roger Edwards arrived in my inbox. He explained that each year he titles his journals and hopes to follow the trail of titles to see his journey in God over the years. His theme for this year seemed to be leaning towards “decluttering.” As I thought about my own journaling , I realized my last several years of journaling could have been titled “unveiling.” Recovering from a relationship riddled with emotional and verbal abuse required a deep soul searching and a peeling away of layers of hurt and pain. At the end of this year, several of my posts were about decluttering and making room for something new in my life. As Roger Edwards said, when we declutter, we make room for the beauty of those things that have been covered.
Soon after reading this email, I opened yet another post by Amy Voskamp with her very real fears and doubts about beginning the New Year. I felt so much peace as I realized someone whose book was published and circling the globe this past year felt the same sense of frustration as myself in facing the realities of life and facing her own weaknesses this coming year. She'd thought of naming this year, The Year of No Fear. That certainly could be appropriate for my life as I face some of the broken areas that have been “unveiled” over the last several years. It surely would simplify things to adopt someone else's title for a journal or theme for the year. Just like it would be simpler to continue thinking the same kinds of thoughts and living out of those patterns and strongholds that have developed over the course of my life.
There it was... my answer... each of these writers, one male and one female, with unique life experiences and unique giftings, offering me a taste of what God was speaking to them about the way they would face the New Year. But my theme would not come from their life experience. It would have to be uniquely my own. Where is God at work in my life and what is God's theme for my life this year? I don't have to borrow a theme from someone else. I don't have to keep circling the mountain with my writing either.
My journey with God is not static. Even though He will continue to peel and pare away those things that are unnecessary, He wants to get to the fruit. The distaste I felt when reading yesterday was the response God wanted me to have so I would see His desire for a new theme in my life this year. I've unpacked some things and decluttered others but the fears are still having full reign some days and in some situations.
In the beginning, God created by speaking... so if we are made in His image, we create also by the words we speak.
For several days, God has been impressing the following thought on my heart....
“It's your words... the Word...that matters most.”
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, Oh Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.”
“My word does not make any progress in you...” (John 8:37) … (something I don't want to be guilty of)
Some may be decluttering this year and some may be forging a path to becoming bolder and others may be trying to relax and be at peace. I, however, have heard Him clearly. It's my year to allow the Word of God to bring healing in me... make progress...strengthen,encourage,and convince me I am worthy of love.
Thank you God that...
“The Word is near me.. in my mouth, in my mind and in my heart.” (Deutoronomy 30:14)
Thank you that you have a plan for my 2012 and for everyone who reads this.
LISTEN.. THE WORD IS VERY NEAR YOU....
Have a Happy and Blessed New Year!