In just a few hours from now some will be reflecting on the past, a few will be writing new goals, but most will be celebrating and ringing in the New Year. At least that is the plan. However, it would seem that before the street sweepers can sweep any New Year’s Eve confetti up or prepare for life as usual, time will keep on moving without any regard to the celebration at hand. In fact, most of our plans can either change or fail as quickly as when we jotted down our thoughtful resolutions and said, “Happy New Year!”. This tradition of watching the Ball drop each year can be maximized into a few remaining seconds and just like that we are in a New Year making the focus all about us once more. Lately, the Lord has impressed upon my heart how I need to consistently seek God in every aspect of my life and not just for a few remaining fragments of time left on my own clock. If you will, allow me to share a bit of the past year first, before I share with you my thoughts for the new upcoming year.
It was this time last year when I was writing my New Year’s Eve Blog. I was prepared to enter the year 2015 by ending the past year of 2014 on a good note. After all I had just finished my book tour for “Legacy – A Poetic Voyage Towards Heaven’s Shore” and like most of the years before I was ready to enjoy my own traditions and had a great year planned! Plans which would expand the ministry of April Sky, add more events to the off season and begin three new writing projects.
It’s funny to think about all of that now, as I distinctly remember planning to have a new book for the following Fall – who knows maybe all three. These of course were all of “my” plans which came to a crashing halt after losing one of my Fur Babies – Abbie. (Perhaps you remember reading about all of that in the blog from this past February).
The year of 2015 flew by and even though I tried my hardest to keep up, I found it was useless. The deadlines from being a self-published author with several book tours, a few health issues, grieving the loss of my grandmother and pet Abbie; left me feeling something that I was not expecting… apathy.
Oh sure, I managed to fight my way through the expected routine of life, that is up until the end of May but after that I just stopped. Everything came to a positioned pause and did not move any further. My connection with ministry, to people and to God was no longer present. I wasn’t sad, I wasn’t mad… I just didn’t feel anything. I tried everything to get it back – prayer, bible verses, worship – but each time I attempted one of these I was met with an echo of silence which was like no other. Even my inspiration to write poetry was gone. I couldn’t do it. No ideas, thoughts or desire of rhythm or rhyme filled my brain or worse my heart.
It wasn’t until September that the Lord renewed the connection of ministry, people and worship back into my life, but sadly and mysteriously the inspiration to write didn’t return.
Now, here I am one year later ready to begin a new year once more writing this blog to perhaps encourage you in whatever way the Lord deems best.
So ask yourself these three questions.
#1 – Are your plans all about pleasing yourself or others? – I know your heart is in the right place trying to do all the right things and be good to all people but are you trying to gain the Lord’s approval by your own rating and not the one from His Son Jesus? Do you want to see your life change in a dynamic way? Then believe in God and place your faith in the One who loves you so much that He chases you and fights for you every day of the year! Be willing to Surrender your Heart and begin this New Year by seeking His Favor for your life! As God’s fellow workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation. 2 Corinthians 6:1-2
#2 – Are your plans all about reaching the next goal? Hey I get it! I see you with your to do lists and please hear me when I say, that our plans are not always bad – in fact sometimes they can be very good. However, as Christ Followers these goals need to be according to God’s standards. Be willing to Surrender ALL of our hopes, plans, dreams and goals and commit them for His Purpose. Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. Proverbs 16:3
#3 – Do you believe that God will never leave you regardless? – I understand that you may have had a difficult year and feel like giving up. You might even be dreading the year to come because you are tired and exhausted and now feel alone and abandoned. It’s so easy to allow the power of apathy to swallow you up and disappear into the abyss of cynicism. So how about this: Don’t look back or even look forward – just look up and around you! God’s Holy Presence is everywhere and has not left you for one minute. He has been safeguarding you through the tempest and raging sea until you could get back to the shore. Be willing to realize that our Awareness of God’s Presence is Key in reconnecting with what we need to survive this life for the next year or years to come. Surely you have granted him eternal blessings and made him glad with the joy of your presence. Psalm 21:6
Well, let me close with this – I don’t know what the year 2016 is going to bring, and I have listed a few resolutions of my own. But, I hope to please Him and bask in the Presence of His Favor because I know He is always there. Oh yes, I want to thank Him – for 2015. Just last week I was able to reconnect with the writer that I am and I was inspired to write three poems. I am hoping this surge of creativity will continue so that I may complete my book projects. Stay tuned.
Yes, 2015 was different from what I had planned and it had some very rough spots but it held two important things – God and Time. So I learned once again that His Timing is always Perfect according to His Beautiful Character of Faithfulness.
~ Should old acquaintance be forgot and the old year left behind, should this ole world fall apart – It is GOD who holds ALL Time!
Have a Safe and Blessed New Year!