It’s a new year, and a new start! Woo hoo!! Bring on the celebration! Bring on the resolutions! Bring on the big plans – this is a new beginning of a brand new you!!!
Now, if you’re like me, on January 1, 2012…you woke up the same person who went to bed on December 31,2011. The only thing that changed? The plans. As if New Year’s Day is permission to dream big again. “This is the year I’m going to climb Mount Kilimanjaro!” Who am I kidding – I’d be lucky to climb Mount Mitchell in a car.
But I can have big new goals and big new dreams because it’s a brand new year!
Why does that make a difference?
Have you ever really thought about that?
Why does it seem so special when we wake up on January 1st with big ideas and big goals when we’re afforded a brand new start with each and every morning??
We’re given a new start every day when we wake up…and we have a decision in that split second after we open our eyes: are we going to cooperate with God today or are we going to get in His way today?
That’s really what it boils down to with you and me…we’re human! We like to dream big and we like to map the path to get there!!! Woo hoo!!!
But we don’t ever really remember that God has far, far bigger dreams and goals for us than we could ever imagine.
AND, He’s practically willing to drive us there if we’d just listen.
Right now you may be knee deep in a big ol’ mess of life wondering how ANYTHING good will ever come your way again.
I’m sorry that it won’t help a stinky situation stink less, but I do know for certain that better days are coming your way. Help’s coming. God has big plans for your life! You just have to trust that I’m not lying and actually let go of whatever it is you’re so sure can’t be fixed.
We’re like God’s toddlers that way.
We’re holding on to something so tightly…so stubbornly…and we ain’t gonna let go.
And when we’ve made a huge mess of things we STILL just won’t let go.
So, God has to shake our little tiny fists and try to get us to drop whatever we’ve got such a grip on.
Maybe it’s a job.
Maybe it’s a relationship.
Maybe it’s a house.
Maybe it’s a dream.
Maybe it’s a bad place you’ve been in so long you can’t remember how “good” feels.
Whatever it is, we make a conscious decision every morning to hold on to it because we’re afraid God isn’t going to fix the mess, can’t fix the mess or He won’t do as good a job fixing it as we can.
The sad part is because we won’t let go, He has to work really hard to get our attention.
He’s just trying to get you to LET GO of whatever it is you’re holding on to so He can show you His plan for your life.
If I had held on tightly to my “purpose” in life, I’d be sitting in a dank office of a questionable business doing things that went against my heart because the money was good and the benefits were amazing. I thought God wanted me to be there to provide for my family AND to help bring His light to that dark corner of the world. But that was what I mistakenly thought God wanted for me to do.
Turns out, He had bigger plans…far bigger than I could have ever imagined.
He wanted me to pick up my family and move across the country to a part of the world where we didn’t know a soul and work for Him every day. No questions asked.
With a HUGE amount of doubt in my heart, I said okay…because I knew God has our backs.
But, everyone we knew said we were nuts.
Some folks even said, “Tell your husband not to quit his job…and do NOT sell your house!”
I thanked them for their advice and smiled quietly at God. It was like a little inside joke He and I were sharing.
Now, these were the SAME folks I had always run to for advice in the past.
Sure, in the past, I’d pray about the Problem du Jour, and run to these folks for advice and wisdom.
This time, though, I chose to go to God FIRST…and I didn’t care what these folks said. I wasn’t asking their advice…I was telling them what we were doing. And in their eyes we were crazy.
What we were doing was letting God map the course for us…we sought His counsel first, and it was the single most difficult thing my husband and I have ever had to do! Typically, we would rely on our intelligence…we would research everything about every option that related to what we were planning to do, talk with folks we knew about the issue and then decide if it was a good decision. After all of that, we’d finally pray that God would bless whatever decision we had made.
Like He’s some sort of line cook – can I get an order of eggs, some grits, a side of bacon…and can you please make sure it’ll bless me real good today? Thanks, God! You’re the best!
But I find that when I go to God first about my problem, then wait a couple of days to see where He leads me, I’m much better off.
Now, you have to realize that I talk to God like this:
“God, you know I’m not really bright. And I have this problem _____ and I really need your help. I just ask that you would show me – in ways I can clearly understand – what you want me to do here.”
It’s not that I don’t respect my Heavenly Father, it’s just I need Him to understand that I want His will, but sometimes I can’t always hear him because life gets in the way.
I don’t have time to reflect for an hour – I have two small kids, a full-time job, laundry that never ends…you know the drill….there’s NOISE in my life and no time for me to take an hour to sit quietly.
Was that Him?? In the song that just played? In an email from a friend? Was that Him as I reached for the yogurt at the grocery?
God speaks to all of us differently because each of His children is different and each of us has different needs.
My only suggestion to you – as your sibling – would be try a new approach to your new beginning. You’ve got one coming your way tomorrow, as a matter of fact! Wish yourself a Happy New Year if you have to and look at each new day as a chance for a brand new beginning, just like New Year’s Day.
Ask God what He wants you to do with whatever you’re facing. Big or small, God handles ‘em all…you just have to be willing to trust Him, be willing to listen, and then be brave enough to actually do what He’s asking you to do. However crazy it may sound in your head or to folks in your life.
After all, it’s not really their opinion that matters, is it?