A New Outlook
And once again, we are in the presence of a new year: 2019.
Some approach this national holiday with humility, open to receive the joys and trivialities. Others approach with an optimistic glow, excited to see where God will take them this time around the sun. And then there are those who are weary, lack purpose and motivation, because they’re not sure how many more hits they can take.
As for me, I find myself being tossed between each of these mindsets. Whichever category you place yourself in, I think I can say for all of us that finding purpose and motivation is hard! I mean butt-kicking hard. Especially when life can become a routine of failures, loss of hope, and neutrality; which we all experience in one season or another.
Whether you’re a stay at home mom, college student, or even living your dream life, we can find ourselves second guessing. So don’t feel guilty that this year around the sparklers are not as bright and the bubbly juice is not as sweet. But it is said in Jeremiah 29; 11, “for I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (New King James Version)
We are called to purpose and fulfillment as women of God. But where can we find that in a season of faith that is running dry?
In the New Year, it’s tradition to make resolutions. They can range anywhere from fun bucket-list items to serious, life-changing goals. Of course those fun bucket-list ones might end up being life-changing, too!
Personally, I am ready to stretch myself to go beyond my comfort zone. You never know what is beyond the waters. I want to discipline my spending as much as I can to travel to Europe and go on a mission trip, find a stable job to work toward purchasing my own apartment, get a credit card, and most scary of all, go to the gym, by myself.
It is not guaranteed I will achieve each of these things in a year, and that’s okay. I may fail, but it has never been about failing in the first place. It is about equipping yourself for the kingdom and placing yourself smack in the middle of His plan.
I discovered one of my all-time favorite passages that speaks to this is in James 1: 2-3.
“Count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.”
So when we fail or face trials we are to be happy? That is not an easy and definitely not a natural human instinct. Instead, we take a breather, a bit of a cry, and say, ‘God, I know I am placed here to become full and lack nothing so I may produce patience and to endure all things.’ (James 1:4)
And for those who have no idea what to do for your goals and motivation, I find myself here more often than not. You may have that driving passion to do something, anything, but have no idea where to start or where your heart lies.
Listen. Evaluate. Pray.
Ask for wisdom as you embark toward another mountain top.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.” (James 1:5-7).
Let’s take a step back and look at failure. You now have this goal. It may be small, or it may be the biggest leap of faith you’ve ever taken in your lifetime, and there’s that slight possibility you could fail. Done in our own way and strength, we most definitely will fail. We are told we can do all things through Him, but we are also told that the prize is not the plastic trophy or the number on the scale. It is Him. He is the Prize.
In this New Year, I hope you can look to it with a fresh and new outlook. That this time around, you will find that passion and drive again.