As I write on the last day of the year, I thought it would be a good ending to start by promising myself to post again and aim to do so daily. I had a bit of a downfall and have been quite busy, so I apologize for disappearing for a little while.
Today I just wanted to take a little time to reflect on 2018, in order to look forward to the future, 2019. Leave 2018…Enter 2019…
Yesterday I had the opportunity to attend a service at SaddleBack Church in Lake Forest with a good friend which was an incredible blessing. The campus is so beautiful and God’s presence was so apparent. Not to mention the beautiful scenery, but the authenticity and transparency of the church and the delivered sermon was and is moving. The message was right on target to leave 2018 and enter 2019.
Pastor Tom spoke about “Making the New Year New.” So many things came to mind when hearing that title. Actually, even more things come to mind now that I’ve reflected upon all the things that God has spoken to me in the last 24 hours.
His message focused on hope for the new year by truly embracing what 2018 brought (regardless of the good and bad). This means leaving what is behind us, actually behind us, and ringing in the new year by ‘taking off the old me’ and ‘putting on the new me with Jesus.’ That is so powerful to me. You know when someone says something, but you hear or interpret something different than maybe what they meant or actually said? Well, when he said that, what I heard was that shedding my own skin (bad habits, negativity, envy, anger, anxiety, depression, etc.) and allowing my new skin to form one that aligns with Jesus’ thoughts, attitudes, desires, goals, etc. to become more like Him. I must say I am so eternally grateful for the good and bad. So thankful. Of course we will never BE God, but we can work as hard as possible to be in His image in every aspect of life.
With that said, he mentioned 3 areas to reflect and move towards in the new year:
- What do I need to put off, and what do I need to put on?
- Where are the closed doors, and where are the open doors?
- What seems important, and what is truly important?
I found these questions to be profound. DEEP. Revolutionary. Because if you really, truly, think about the answers to these questions you have successfully left 2018 and entered 2019. Ask the right questions and you will discover the right answers. Although 2019 might carry on some hardships from 2018, it is certain that we can go in with a new mindset of Jesus and overcome anything through Him. He is our source of strength. He is our source of wisdom. He is our source of power. He is our sense of hope. Faith. Peace. Love. Joy. And, so much more…
But, what I really wanted to focus on, because it spoke so deeply to me, is the concept of closed doors versus opening doors. I instantly began to ask myself what doors God has already closed and what doors I can see He is clearly opening. I don’t know about you, but I get so caught up in the closed doors, asking God why those doors closed, almost waiting in front of the closed door as if it was going to open or if I had any control of it closing. On the other hand, I tend to wait in front of the open door and get lost in the why instead of walking through the door as a confirmation of God’s redirection for my life. He can see the whole story. He sees the whole picture. We do not. We only see a glimpse of what is in front of us, but if we walk by faith and not by sight, we then develop trust in Him and follow the opening doors that no man can shut.
Pastor Tom said something that struck me.
“God’s plans are not delivered, they are discovered!”
That is a game changer. A game changer because if we are walking and living only what we see, we will not discover what He has in store for us. We will miss it! Almost like those people who are traveling, let’s say to the Grand Canyon (what a beautiful sight, I have yet to see in person), but they are at the Grand Canyon and on their phone’s Instragraming (?) and taking pictures instead of looking at the scenery and discovering the creation that is right in front of their eyes. I am so guilty of this, but I have to leave this is 2018. Not to get on a tangent, but that new notification on the iPhone about our “Screentime” scares me how much time I spend with my head in the phone…that’s definitely something I will be changing. But anyway, if we are focused on the things of this world (fame, money, idols, career, people, etc.) we will miss the beautiful doors that God is opening for us. Don’t miss it! Leave it in 2018, so you can enter 2019 with discovery and wonder.
I strive to make it a resolution this year that I stop camping out in front of the closed doors, release fear, and allow faith to discover open doors that God has redirected me to walk through. After all, He knows best!
So… I’ll keep trusting…I’ll keep moving…no matter what tries to knock me down…
Instead of trying, I will be trusting!
Leaving 2018 behind and entering 2019 with thankfulness, so much love, and joy. ❤
~HAPPY NEW YEAR~