Photo Cred: Healthy Black Woman
Happy New Year to those that I have not had the opportunity to wish as yet! I actually cannot believe that we have gone through the entirety of 2015 and now sit at the start of another year. It seems that it was only the other day that I was going through my hopes, dreams and goals for 2015 and yet it has now passed. It’s time to refocus and re-strategize for another year and another chapter in life.
This time, however, I’ve had a completely different experience of the New Year and my desires for it. I’m usually someone who comes to a theme for my life for the year along with what I believe are God’s goals or wishes for my life. By the 1st or at least the 3rd day of January, all of that would have been set. This time around though, that was not necessarily the case. It may have been because of the disappointments I faced in 2015 or it could have been my fatigue from the previous year, but I was a bit wearier of making declarations around what my 2016 would be. I mean, last year my slogan was “Only The Best” and let’s just say the year didn’t quite work out that way. Lol. Well in my eyes at least.
And so, as I sat at the end of 2015 journaling to God, I confessed to Him that I was afraid of even hoping for 2016. I was afraid of making declarations and proclamations over my life for the New Year. I was afraid of setting goals or writing down my desires. These were thoughts that plagued me from the last quarter of 2015 until the second week of January 2016. I felt as though maybe something was wrong with me. But I just let it be and didn’t force the funk by trying to make up goals or desires. Instead, I kept going to God with my questions and confusion. Over time, I do believe He has begun to answer me.
God has been showing me that none of us have control over the way a year will work out. Yes we may have hopes and desires that we pray He will fulfil for us in the year but the truth is that we don’t know if: a) He actually wants to fulfil these for us or; b) how He will fulfil them for us. We read all these “prophecies” about what our years will be – “This shall be your greatest year yet”; “This is your breakthrough year”; “Things will shift in your favour this year”. The list is endless. And the truth is that these are things we want to hear. I mean, who doesn’t want to be told and to believe that this year all their desires will be fulfilled?
But you see, in as much as most of these proclamations are said with good intentions and well-wishes, they cannot influence the course of our year per say. Yes I do believe that our tongues hold power and we ought to speak out the things we desire to see in our lives (Proverbs 18:21). Yes I believe that we need to live lives filled with hope and the belief that God will do great things for us (Jeremiah 29:11). However, I have come to understand that we must leave the fulfilment of these desires and wishes in God’s very capable Hands.
You see, this truly may be the greatest year of your life. It may be great in that God will have made it His aim this year to lead you to let go of that sinful behaviour that’s been holding you back. Or He may be strengthening you to let go of toxic relationships that you see no problem with. Or He may be setting you free from the bondage of your negative thoughts and emotions. This may, however, mean that you lose a loved one or that your partner/spouse decides to leave you. It could possibly mean that you endure a number of car crashes or that you’re laid off from work for no apparent reason. It may mean that your 2016 does not shape up the way you saw it in your mind’s eye but you will receive fulfilment of the prophecies you made over it at the beginning of the year.
This morning I read a powerful devotional by Pastor Ray Patrick, and he highlights that the Bible actually reveals that our year and the times to come will only get more difficult and darker. He quotes 2 Timothy 3:1, 13-14 which says:
“In the last days perilous times will come; . . . evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them”.
So the truth is that God predicts some hectic and not-so-fun times for us in 2016. Yet, He also encourages us to remember the lessons He has taught us in the past and to remember Him as we go through it all. This truth is the thing that will make 2016 a great year for you. It’s not the fact that you’ll receive those things you’ve been praying for for 10 years but the fact that you work on cultivating and building your relationship with the One who will see you through the good and bad moments of 2016. The One who will hold your hand through the uncertainty and fuzziness of 2016. The One who will give you clear directions through the fog that life can become.
Therefore, my greatest wish for you as you finalize your goals and dreams for 2016 is that you lay them all at Jesus’ feet trusting that He will fulfil them in the way that’s best for you (Romans 8:28). I also pray that as you face the challenges of the year (which we’ve been told will come) you will be strengthened to deal with them joyfully. May this be your greatest year yet in the will of God!
P.S. I’m now on Instagram!! 🙂 (I know – never thought I’d join The Gram). Look for me @thebawlife and get some daily inspiration, personal anecdotes/stories and a few laughs. Let’s connect and get to know each other 😉