Happy New years!
Wow, can you believe we made it into the new year? The fact that you are reading this right now is just another testament of God’s grace and favor in your life. Often times, we forget even the mundane and seemingly little blessing of life itself. Because you are here today, there is MORE that you have to see and do on this earth. It’s a new year y’all, let’s embrace it and not take it for granted.
Now, if you are like me, or if you aren’t I recommend that you start implementing this practice. The practice of reflection. It is so vital that we pause especially before embarking on new seasons. As we pause and reflect, we can move forward with an attitude of gratitude, but also readjust how we will move forward. So the month of December as well as January are full of reflection as well as planning for me…more on that later.
As you sit down and reflect on your past year, it is important to not only look at the bad but to also look at the good. What is it that positively impacted you in the previous year? What lessons did you learn that you want to continue to stand on?
As I have taken the time to look back, I have come up with three lessons/values that I have learned in 2017 that I will continue to stand on. These values are honestly, not personal to my own story, which is why I am sharing it with you all. These three values are KEY towards becoming the BEST that God wants you to be.
So are you ready? Here it goes
Love Is an action verb & is selfless
Trust God in the valleys
God wants to be involved in every detail of your life
I am going to break these down a bit because they are each so heavy and VITAL.
Love is an action verb and selfless
Ok, so this is going to sound really weird, but I honestly don’t believe that I knew how to love before 2017. Before y’all think I am a crazy selfish human being, let me explain myself. I did not know how to show godly love; aka love that gives without wanting anything back, the 1 Corinthians 13 type love ( Go read it! you’ll be blessed). Of course, I loved my family and friends and even the occasional randoms…lol, but I did not know what it truly meant to love the way God does…and I still don’t fully understand it.
You can’t just say I love you, I love you, but you never sacrifice yourself, you are never present, never intentional. So in the shortest form, love is truly learned and to love the way God asks us to is not easy! rather it is uncomfortable. I found myself asking God to grace me to love the way He does, to serve others when I felt ignored. To go out of my way to show kindness and comfort. I mean at the end of the day, isn’t that what it all comes down to. The two greatest commandments that are repeated in the gospel is to love God and to love your neighbor. In 2017 I understood that God is in the business of people, so I should be too.
Showing God’s love WILL not always be comfortable, but it is beautiful. As you understand the love God has for you, it becomes easier to give it to others. I don’t have to seek the love of others as I give because I am already loved by the greatest of lovers, Jesus Christ. As cheesy as that sounds, once you understand that God loves you uniquely and is so passionate about you, you can show more love towards others. At the end of the day, you cannot give what you don’t have. I pray that you receive God’s love in this new year.
Trusting That God is ALWAYS Good
As a result of my love of planning and organizing, I think I also had an issue with control. It is comfortable to have control, to know that I can walk and change things the way I please. To give up control and totally trust God is not easy. Trusting God is definitely something that I had worked on in 2016, but 2017 brought a test. Did I truly trust God?
I completely changed my career track in 2017 during my SENIOR year of college. It’s funny because anyone that knows me knows that I LOVE to plan. I already knew what medical school I wanted to go to when I wanted to get married ( after the third year of med school…mind you I don’t have a boyfriend lol). My plans even went as far as to when I wanted to build my dream house! Now I am not saying that having hopes and dreams and working towards them is a problem, but it becomes a problem when you are more attached to your plans than that of God. It’s important to give up that control and strict planning. So what if I don’t go to medical school or get married at a certain age. If I am walking on God’s path, I will ALWAYS win.
Through my career change, I had no choice but to trust God in a way that I never had. It was hard at first but has become easier over time. 2017 honestly grew my faith bones ( is that even a thing); to have undeniable faith in God’s goodness. If you walk in obedience and do your part, GOD will not fail you. Let me repeat that. GOD will NOT fail you. Despite any circumstance that you find yourself in, God is still good (Daniel 3:18).
The amount of peace that I have had in 2017 can only be by God’s grace. I have felt his peace and joy consistently, not because my circumstances are full of roses and daisies…trust me there have been many closed doors and pain. 2017 might have thrown a curveball at your life, and you may still be in that season, but DO NOT lose hope. The Lord says that He only has plans to prosper us and not to harm us! ( Jeremiah 29:11) You are being prospered even if you don’t see it. Trust God, His plans are far greater than anything you could plan for yourself.
God Wants To Be Involved In Everything
I grew up with the mindset that you don’t bother God for little things because He already provides so much for us. This mindset really pushed me away from having intimacy with Christ. He seemed like a faraway God that was not accessible. But that is so far from the truth. Look at Jesus’s life, He was so close to God the father. He had an intimate relationship with Him, cried out to Him, and rejoiced and praised Him. We are meant to have an intimate relationship with God. God wants to be involved in the details of your life, and when you allow Him, you start to see just how much He cares.
I always knew that God cared about my health and survival and all, but to know that God cares about what job I take, and even my birthday is major. In 2017, I was reminded of God’s love and hand in my life very often! The bible verse claiming that God knows even all the hairs on our head became alive ( Isn’t it so sweet when the scripture comes alive)! God came through even in the littlest of prayers, and He can do the same in your life.
Storytime. In March, I told God that I wanted to praise and worship him on my birthday. In my head, I was thinking that maybe I wanted to do something like a worship night party, but in the back of mind, I didn’t want to deal with all that planning. I told God and left it alone. Come June, my friend texted me that Hillsong Young and Free was coming to concert near my house. I was so excited…new fact, I am a HUGE Hillsong fan…this was a BIG deal.
So in my excitement, I checked the date to buy my ticket. Can you guess when they were coming to town??? JULY 20th…my exact birthday ( not birthday weekend, the day itself). I almost cried y’all because I knew that was God. Hillsong doesn’t usually come near my area. When I say that I didn’t care about anyone at that concert, it was me and God and it was such a beautiful experience for me.
So that may or may not be meaningful for you, but what is, is to understand that God wants to be involved even in the seemingly little prayers. We don’t serve a God that is far away. Jesus DIED so that you could easily have an intimate relationship with God.
If you take anything from this post, it is an encouragement to involve God in EVERYTHING in this new year. I didn’t learn to trust God and love people by my own strength, it was out of involving God in all parts of my life and allowing who him to be who He says He is.
2018 WILL be you VERY BEST year as you walk with God.