We were all there— whether your plans included going to bed early, dancing/mostly just screaming the lyrics to Toto’s “Africa”, or rocking your babe to Mariah Carey’s meltdown— you were a part of 2016’s end. And the thing is, no matter the taste 2016 left us with, all we all wanted was a clean slate, right?
So far 2017 has embraced us with open arms, crowning my husband and I with our six year old’s head cold, our one year old with strep (for the second time in two months), and the enlightenment that our tags on our family vehicle expired three months ago.
This all being said, before this avalanche was even formed, I began to pray my new years resolution, that God’s peace would transcend every part of my life— relationships, finances, parenting, business, everything. That all this anxiety I have allowed to take up room in my heart would be forced to vacate the premises because Jesus was placing peace in every corner of my atmosphere.
So, funny 2017 should start the way it has, but its not a bad start, and that’s what I’m learning.
About a week ago, I was praying and asking God to keep showing up into my volcanic explosions, asking his voice to continue to whisper to tyrant me when I am not being true to who he made me to be. And as I was lifting the words to the Lord, I felt His presence like a big, unexpected embrace:
“I feel your Spirit comforting me with your undeserved patience, mercy, & grace. You are patting my back, swirling around me, telling me ‘it’s a process’, making me understand that changing my heart can take a millisecond, but sometimes it take a million new chances— this is a transition.” (excerpt from my prayer journal)
Its a transition.
When I picture God’s movements in my life, I expect big grandeur explosions. I expect thunder and lightening, white-out snow storms and flash floods. And He does it— He works in the ‘suddenly’, but He also works in the transitions that look more like a light dimmer than a sudden switch. He works unapologetically, mercifully, and gracefully, continuing the lightbulb moments in the midst of my meltdowns and stress rants, slipping His truths in my mind when its time for me to wage war on my fleshly instincts.
So I have been praying for peace that overcomes, and this is where God took me last night, beginning my prayer:
God begun by highlighting the random, clever phrase, “Christ-al Clear”, and after meditating on it for a while, I picked up my Bible to where I left off, James 3, which says:
“But wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.” (v.17-18)
You see, we pray for things or raise our white flags in certain untamed areas of our heart and God in turn says, alright, here’s our plan. He doesn’t sit on His throne and watch our failing efforts to become more Christ-like, with crossed arms. He kneels beside us and partners with us. And faithfully.
I asked for peace this year that transforms me to my core, and in turn He tells me exactly what I need where I’m at. He says to filter what I am listening to and seeing so that I can have a pure mind and heart. He says even when I am about to lose my mind with a screaming one year old pulling at my pants, a child misbehaving that needs addressed, and my hair still needs finished because we were supposed to be out the door ten minutes ago, to be gentle with my words and actions. He tells me when I see a girl gaining recognition for effortlessly being great at something I want to be great at, to cheer her on in the truth there is enough success to go around.
Lastly, He is reminding me that my circumstances don’t determine His goodness, nor do they dictate whether His Spirit of peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, and self-control are welcome.
What are your New Years resolutions/mottos? How will this year be different from the others?
SIDE NOTE: Yes, this is featuring my son sitting on top my couch like a cat. Yes, those are unedited boogers. No, I do not normally allow this behavior. No, no one was injured in the making. But, yes, he is very cute, even with the boogy nose.