It feels like a moment ago we were all celebrating the clock ticking over to 2017, yet here we are on Monday the 1st of January 2018, looking ahead to a new year. A new year. A new beginning. A new season. 2017 was a full-on year for most people, and I for one am glad that it is over. While I would usually write a bit of a reflection post on new year’s, I have decided to do things a little differently this year. This year, I have chosen a word that will define my year and my actions, a word that will help shape my year and help shape me. This year, I have decided that it will be a year of intention, and so my word is, INTENTIONAL (surprise, surprise!)
Every year around this time, most of us stop and think back on the year that was; the laughter, tears, ups and downs. But for once I don’t want to do that. For once, I want to focus all my attention on looking ahead at the year that is before us. Setting my eyes heavenward and forward simultaneously. Running my race without hindrance. As I thought about this, I realised that for me to run my race without hindrance, I needed to remove all that hindered me. I needed to be intentional about running my race well, which meant I had to stop and think about what it is that is stopping me. The more I thought about this, the more I realised that I was the one that was my biggest hindrance. My thoughts and my fears were my biggest roadblock. My insecurities and frustrations. All these have stopped me from really walking out my purpose and living my life in a way that really reflects the heart of Jesus and who He wants me to be.
Having said all that, what does that look like? Well, I don’t know what it looks like for you, but for me, it is being intentional about seeking God’s heart, really seeking it, not just saying a prayer and hoping for the best. It means being intentional with my thoughts and not focusing on the negativity that runs through my mind at times. It means fixing my eyes on Jesus and knowing that what He has planned for me is far greater than I can possibly imagine. Ultimately, it means being intentional in everything I say and do. It means that I live with vulnerability and transperancy. Makes sense that my word for the year is intentional, right?
I don’t know what your 2017 was like, but if it was anything like mine, you are likely glad to see the back of it. And please hear my heart, I don’t for a moment want to minimise and trivialise anything that happened in 2017, but on this day, let’s not look back but look forward. Let’s fix our eyes and hearts ahead, not back. While I was on social media today, someone had put the following verse up:
‘Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and streams in the desert.’ Isaiah 43: 18-19
I think that verse is the best verse to start the new year off, don’t you think? Let’s not look to the former things, let’s stop looking back and wishing for what was, and let’s look forward with expectation. I’m not saying that we don’t remember, because it is always good to remember what God has done as it helps us to remember that He has been faithful before and will continue to be faithful. It’s also good to remember the joyful times we had, the times of laughter and joy, but let’s not fix our eyes on that because we will miss what God is doing now. We will miss what He is about to do. Let’s look ahead in awe of what God will do, because He will do some great and mighty things this year. I believe that with everything in me. And on the days when I don’t feel it, and I can tell you that there will be days like that, I will be intentional about claiming that truth and telling myself to keep looking up because He is faithful. He will show up time and time and time again because that is who Jesus is; He is the One that loves us with an everlasting love and He will always be faithful, regardless of what our feelings tell us.
My prayer for myself and for all of us in 2018 is this: that we would encounter God a new way that has our hearts yearning for more of Him. That we would be full of His joy and peace. That we would be His hands and feet to a hurting world. My prayer is that we would all, time and time again, exclaim in awe and adoration, “Oh, He is faithful. Look at what the Lord has done!”
God bless x