2016. What a year. I’ve recently seen more memes and silly eCards online about how everyone collectively agrees that it was quite a year. Do you feel it too? I’m not sure how you feel about the past year we’ve just experienced, but I too agree that it’s been quite a doozy, both personally and collectively as a nation.
I’m sad to admit but most of last year I felt like I was just surviving rather than THRIVING. I haven’t been living out of a place of freedom in Jesus, but rather I’ve been living too much out of a place of fear, anxiety and worry. I’ve used the word “overwhelmed” more times than I’d like to count this year to describe how I’m feeling, and frankly I’m tired of feeling this way and living this way. I’m tired of feeling like the constantly exhausted, run down mama who can’t fit a shower in.
I’ve lived a LOT of life in the past five or so years. There has been endless amounts of change, transitions, physical moves, diaper changing and soul searching. Most of the time, I’ve felt like I was flailing a little — all the change happening at a breakneck pace that it’s hard to even keep up. Have you ever had a season like that?
I look at where my life is now, and realize how far I’ve come. If you had told me three years ago when I was a broken and scared single mom of a newborn that I would be where I am today – happily married to a Godly man I adore with another sweet baby girl and a baby BOY on the way too – I don’t think I would have believed you.
The best part of the past 5 or so years, the darkest and hardest time of my life, is that I can look back at each situation and challenge and see exactly how God has been FAITHFUL.
So incredibly faithful. He SEES me when I don’t feel seen. He meets me exactly when I need it. He whispers to my heart and encourages me. He has provided friends, a Church, and community of support. He breathes HOPE into the darkest, most lifeless areas and provides his abundant peace.
Motherhood and now a still-young marriage is shaping me, refining me in ways that I know I need, but doesn’t feel easy. The biggest lesson I learned in 2016 was realizing just how much my attitude shapes my outlook on life.
Last year I was reading the story of Jesus calming the storm in Mark 4 and I felt God whisper to me, “Why are you so fearful?” I don’t know about you, but I’ve had some storms that have been doozies recently. I wrote that question on a sticky note and it hangs on my bathroom mirror. It reminds me that Jesus has POWER over whatever storms are raging in my life at the time — conflict in relationships, financial worries, exhaustion, sickness, etc. There is nothing that Jesus doesn’t have power over. HE is sovereign over it all.
Yes, I am hoping that 2017 settles down a little bit from everything I’ve experienced over the past few years, and honestly I have no idea if that’s possible with another newborn on the way and soon-to-be 3 kids ages 4 and under. But do you know what I know? I know that my attitude will shape how my year progresses and how I feel about my life in the process.
- Will I wake up and immediately start my day in anxious mode or will I make time and space to be STILL with God, meditating on His Word and remembering His promises to me?
- Will I wake up dreading the housework, mounds of laundry and endless diapers or will I seek to look for God in every corner of the day and be present with my kids and husband?
- Will I get frustrated that my husband and I are different as night and day or will I look for all the ways that he’s such a gift to me and our family?
- Will I look at having another baby so close to my sweet baby girl as terrifying or will I embrace the gift of new life and see the joys of having three beautiful kids even if two really are still babies?
- Will I constantly focus on the negative of a situation or will I look to see it from God’s perspective?
For 2017 I’m committed not to just survive but instead to THRIVE. It’s my word for the year and I’m excited to see how a change in my attitude transforms my year. I don’t think having a positive attitude means you ignore the hard things, pain or suffering that will inevitably come. Instead, I think it means you put them in perspective of the Gospel
I don’t want to live this next year fearful. Instead, I want to live TRUSTING in God and His goodness and faithfulness. I’ve experienced it too many times in my own life to doubt it, and I constantly need to remember that.
So instead of hearing “Why are you so fearful?” from Jesus, I hope I hear, “Daughter, your faith [your personal trust and confidence in Me] has restored you to health; go in peace and be [permanently] healed from your suffering.” –Mark 5:34 AMP
May 2017 be a year of restoration, peace and healing for us all! I’d say after 2016, we need it!