I Kissed Resolutions Good-Bye

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When you take in all the hype around New Year’s you can conclude one thing for sure: Everyone wants a do-over. A fresh start. A new beginning.

Trashing the old year and embarking on a new one can be a very welcomed scenario for a lot of us.

Others may want to hold on to the last year. A loved one is left there. A missed opportunity still sits unused. A failure longed to be erased lingers.

Several years ago I said good-bye to the typical New Year’s Resolution.

I’ve never been much of a bandwagon rider anyway. I got fed up with creating the perfect year in my head on January 1 only to have the reality of life and my lack of control over so much, chip away with each passing month at my perfectly planned year of new.

Instead I began to focus on areas in which I wanted to experience growth. Personal growth, spiritual growth, emotional growth, adventuresome growth. Mommy growth, wifey growth, friend growth. Organizational growth, ministry growth.

Some years I have focused on a theme: love, joy, hope, peace, forgiveness, perfectionism.

Whatever method I chose to apply to the madness, being further along on the maturity and growth spectrum by the year’s end was my only goal.

I let God bring me along on that spectrum in ways He saw fit. I have found incredible relief in sometimes just throwing caution to the wind and letting the Winds of God take me where He leads.

God speaks to me in themes, so that works for me. Last year’s theme was death and resurrection. Sounds really inviting doesn’t it?

It was a year of realizing that the life I want, the life I desire, the “place” I want to be in Him, in my family, in my life, can only come when I die, to myself. When I lay down my grand ideas, my dreams, my lust for easy and manageable and allow God to resurrect trust, hope and joy in its place, that is truly the “place” I want to be. But, I must let go, I must pick up my cross and die to a myriad of things, people, attitudes and selfish wants in order to follow Him into that great, spacious “place” He wants to take me.

The pursuit of laying it down, trusting Him, letting go of control and silly perfectionist tail-chasings, and pursuing pure Joy in the midst of chaos, hurt, disappointment and failure was what 2012 was all about for me. It was a beautifully painful experience: The Great Pruning of 2012. Not one single area of my life and heart that year seem to lay unchallenged, unpruned by the VineDresser.

Today I sit, pen in hand, and scribble. Scribbling out what I “hear”, themes that recur over and over in the daily moments of my life. Showing up in devotionals, Scriptures, my pastor’s sermons, songs I hear, conversations I have.

What is God saying in His still, small, booming voice?

“Live Imperfectly Amy, with Great Delight. Embrace Failure, Master it. Harness it. It is a Wealth of Wisdom.”

“Forget the past, move forward. I’m doing a new thing!”

“Leave Easy Street, Be a Servant, Love the Undeserving, Embrace My Undeserving Love.”

“Trust Me. Trust Me enough to be Thankful. To Love. To Drink Joy.”

These are the whispers of the Holy One, my Guide, to me at the start of a New Year.

My fearful heart often looks at a New Year with trepidation rather than celebration.

The glass-half-empty monster that I push down deep, comes up this time of year, with all sorts of questions and wonderings about this year of unknowns. It fears failure, death, change, pain. It wants to know what every single second holds, so it can wearily prepare its worries in advance, as if in some way the worry prevents chaos, hurt, or despair.

It thinks itself strong enough to be able to brace for cataclysmic change or tragedy. It wants to see the path, it wants to play God.

But the only way of Peace, the only way out of this year and into the next, is Through. One day, one step, one situation at a time. Releasing the role of tour guide and taking the hand of the Father, trusting not in the way, but in the Way-Maker.

Whatever this year holds, at the end of it, I will have Jesus. And in the end, in the very end, that is all I need. It may not feel like that many times, but that is the Truth. We leave one year with a reminder that God is With Us. Perhaps perfectly designed by the Father so that we would go into an unseen year with that Truth still heavy on our hearts and stirring in our minds. He is Alpha and Omega. He is With Us in the beginning, He is With Us in the end. And every single day, everywhere in between.

Resolutions often focus on what I can do. I’d rather focus on what HE can do.

I possess His Light in this super frail, earthly vessel. His Power is proven to be real when it manifests itself in me, in spite of me. It’s not about what I can do in 2014, it’s about what HE can do, wants to do and is leading me to see. In actuality, it’s His journey I’m on. This journey is not my own.

“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”- Proverbs 19:21

Where is your focus on this Eve of New Beginnings? Is it on His purposes and plans or on your purposes and plans? Bring Him into the goal-setting, the purpose-planning and watch your New Year create a New You instead.

Comments

  1. amen and amen.. beautifully said … may we just enjoy HIm more in the new year and bring Him good pleasure.

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