Happy new year!
One thing I’ve done for the last couple years is choose one word as a focus for the year. In 2016, it was Freedom, and I battled my perfectionism and gave my weaknesses over to Christ. In 2017, my word was Rest.
I had a lot of down time this year, especially after our wedding in May, to spend time with the Lord and cultivate a deeper relationship with Him. He gave me a more flexible schedule during this past summer and fall, and I had plenty of margin to spend in His Word, in prayer, and even participating in the Dance Stand Run launch team. I learned a lot from Jess and the other Kingdom women!
In short, the Lord hid me away for a time, and I’m feeling renewed.
Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her.
Hosea 2:14 (ESV)
Coming into 2018, there is a lot of unknown on the horizon. And there’s a lot to get done. I’m about to enter my last semester of college. I need to find an internship for the summer. Dellan and I will move out of Ames and are not sure where exactly we’ll be living next. I want to spend time writing here and growing my new Beautycounter business. I’m also considering graduate school.
Unlike last year, it will not be easy to find time to spend with the Lord. I won’t have empty hours where I can pick up my Bible and journal a page or two. Also unlike last year, the upcoming changes contain a lot of mystery. In 2017, I knew what would happen: Dellan and I would get married, we’d move in together, we’d begin adjusting to married life, I’d continue in my studies, and maybe we’d get a puppy. This time, I can’t plow ahead with confidence and assurance. There’s a lot still to be uncovered.
I was sitting with the Lord as I considered this year’s focus, and he made it clear.
In 2018, I’ll have to fight to seek Him.
And it won’t be easy. What will come easily is worry. Worrying about finding a good job, about what others think of my writing or my choices, or about whether I’m the right girl for what He has called me to. It’ll be easy to start trying to accomplish everything by my own willpower. I don’t doubt that there will be times I approach a stack of work without drawing strength from His power first. Heck, I’ve already done that today!
But I’m ready to choose to draw near. Our God is worth loving and pursuing even when it’s tempting to doubt Him or go it alone. He has lavished grace and love on us, and it is a gift to love him back.
We love him, because he first loved us.
1 John 4:19 (KJV)
My prayer for this year: that I would use the energy built up from this restful season to spring into the unknown and trust that God is leading me. Seeking His guidance and soaking up his peace, I want to continue to walk closely with Him even when it’s inconvenient. I pray that the busyness of the year would not take away from participating in His kingdom work.
I’m excited to know Him more, to watch Him work, and to become more like Jesus.
Seek the Lord and his strength;
seek his presence continually!
1 Chronicles 16:11 (ESV)
Have you chosen a word for the year? Let me know below!