For those who know me well, know how much of a planner I am. I love lists, to-dos, and goal setting. I’ve made new year resolutions, bucket lists, 30 before 30, 30 in the 30’s, and even just random monthly or weekly things I hope to accomplish. I never fully complete a list, but they always push me toward aspirations I hope to accomplish. I was looking back at some of my previous lists and it’s amazing to see the difference between now and then and how God showed up in unexpected ways…
Meet Tim Tebow… I met him three times
Finish PhD… I graduated in 2018
Start a blog… here we are:)
Get paid to speak… I have my first keynote in a month
Read through the entire Bible… I now lead a Facebook group of over 400 (!!!) people who aim to do the same each year
In addition to lists and actions related to my goals, I come up with a word for the year. I started doing this is 2017 and these are the words I chose:
2018 Pray & Finish
2020 Hope & Vision
They almost never evolve the ways in which I anticipate. But this year was one where I held close to Christ. I had to. It started out heading in a direction I felt so confident in, yet quickly unraveled before my eyes. It can become tricky to reconcile what we believe God showed us with what God is currently showing us- especially when the two don’t align. I’ve since learned not to make presumptions upon God. God has also been teaching me a lot about perspective. Where I see disappointment, He sees a rescue. Where I see failures, He sees growth. And when all seems hopeless, He pushes me to remain hopeful. I’m learning to let go. I’m learning to give up control. And I’m learning to trust, hope, believe, and have faith in greater capacities. My prayer has always been to grow. Grow in holiness. Grow in strength. Grow in righteousness and become perfected before Him. And sometimes I may forget that to grow in those areas we need to be stretched and often uncomfortable. But it’s worth it. It’s always worth it. It can be a painful process to go through the molding and the chiseling, but the end result is always so beautiful.
One word keeps crossing my mind as we enter 2022: Undivided. Part of 2021 and part of my frustrations stemmed from one feeling: divided. Situations I found myself in left me feeling divided, like something was going to have to give. Peace seemed further and further away as confusion clouded my vision. To continue down the path I was headed, I was going to have to compromise when it came to my relationship with Christ. Though it may not have looked that way on the surface, I felt it deep in my spirit. And it made it even more difficult when I had believed God led me to my current situation. While God may allow certain circumstances, it doesn’t always mean it’s His best. Though situations may be from God, the outcomes may look different than we anticipate. So I had to let go, even though not fully understanding. I had to move back toward Christ. Back toward peace. It reminds me of how Noah built the ark, though he fully didn’t understand why at the time. I think that is where God wants us. Fully trusting, undivided devotion.
“Undivided devotion to the Lord” (1 Corinthians 7:35) is where my heart is really at. And it’s the only place I want to be.