I know, I know, the title alone makes you wanna roll your eyes and keep scrolling by. After all just because the calendar year turned doesn’t mean that anything around us has changed. We are still experiencing many, if not the exact same, possibly worse, challenges that 2020 brought us. But here we are, at the brink of a New Year clinging to the hope that as we all adjust to writing the new number, we also adjust to being a new, better version of ourselves. A new me.
A new you.
This was the first in many years that I didn’t wake up on New Year’s Day and write a blog post. In years past, I’ve written everything from new goals to new miracles, inspiring and hopefully motivating each of you that as the new year approaches, there is hope. This year, I didn’t have that same message. It wasn’t as if I spent the day lacking hope. I just didn’t have anything to say.
2020 began with HUGE hopes and dreams.
One of those was that I was going to write 52 blogs. One for each week. Given my lofty start, this didn’t seem to be too difficult. However, March came and as the world shut down, so did every idea, word, thought and motivating factor to keep writing. I shut my laptop when the world closed and wondered if writing had only been a dream of my own, rather than inspired by God.
I would have thoughts and ideas and opinions of things I wanted to say, but like so many of you, the delete button would erase it all in fears of biting off more than I can chew. Fully aware that in this season of the unknown we were all facing globally that my words would fall short. Nothing I could say seemed to matter and I would retreat to being silent.
But in the silence came rest.
It also collided with the ability to see that unmet goals, ideas, and dreams are ok. I am ok. I am not defined by what I do or how many people listen to what I say. That even when I am silent, fearful to speak, or confused about all the bazillion thoughts in my head, God is still with me. And He is still good. He can use me when I am silent or when I am not.
As the New Year approaches I always take time to myself and write in my new Growth Journal. This year looked a little different as instead of retreating off to myself, I sat outside with my husband and asked him to join in. The kids were running in and out and the slamming of the old screen door was our background to the thoughts we were trying to process. We started with a list of thankfulness. The list didn’t quite match up to the goals that we had at the beginning of 2020, but the list reminded us of all that God had done. Despite the pandemic. The silence. The unmet goals and hopes unfulfilled.
God was good and our list proved it.
I reluctantly asked God for a word, but instead of high expectations which often lead to hard disappointments, I asked and assumed that if He wants me to have one, he will graciously give. And if not, then a word for the year just simply wasn’t what He desired me to have.
2020 taught us a lot about letting go of what we think should happen.
Last year, I had a goal to finish my Bible from cover to cover. I’ve done this 3 times in my life and this last time has taken me the longest. Not because I have been digging deep and reflecting slowly as I read. But because I haven’t been motivated to read and often find myself with an open bible, foggy eyes, praying for osmosis to happen (this is a joke). But I only had two books left and that was totally possible in the last two weeks of 2020.
The goal was made and never met like so many other 2020 endeavors. I could have beat myself up like I am known to do, but on January 1st, 2021, I decided to just keep reading. I opened my Bible where I had left off just weeks before and I read about the crucifixion of Christ. A delay on my end was perfect timing on His.
Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father I commit my spirit.” When he said this, he breathed his last.Luke 23:46
As I read this line, the word COMMIT stood off of the page from all the other words and I knew God was speaking. Sometimes you just have to read until something leaps off and even then, it takes time and PRACTICE to begin to understand what God may possibly be saying. And let’s be real, we will never fully understand His ways.
I knew he was asking COMMIT to be my word for 2021.
What I also noticed was that Jesus said this in a loud voice. He didn’t have to. His soul, spirit, and body were already fully committed to God. He came from heaven down to earth and now it was his time to return to the place that he had always been. So why did he say it in a loud voice?
His commitment to God had to be SHOWN to man.
2020 may have brought silence by some. It may have been the time spent in the Gethsemane Garden speaking to the Lord unsure of the days ahead. It may be the blood tears that were shed in fears of what God was asking you to do. Or a season where you spent more time on your knees than you did on your own two legs. 2020 may have been the season where you felt violated, taken advantage of or controlled by those who never should have controlled you, to begin with.
But here you are… 2021. Still hanging on the cross. Still in pain or conflict about what is to come. But there is a new voice rising up inside of you and with every slash at the side, you feel yourself more committed than ever. You feel God rising up inside of you and in a LOUD VOICE, you are ready to tell the world that you are FULLY COMMITTED.
Jesus had to say it so that others could believe it.
We would be naive if we thought God wouldn’t ask us to do the same. Jesus spoke his commitment to God for all to hear and then he took his last breath.
I have spent way too much of my life breathing in the ways of the world. Breathing in the approval of man, the world’s busyness and even allowing the clock to dictate what I have time for. God created time and space, but yet somehow I have fallen into the belief that I never have enough time. God has sent me here for such a time as this. And I can choose to breathe in the ways of the world until I take my last breath, OR…
I can cry out fully commited to God and breath in what HE has for me.
This year, I didn’t set a lofty list of goals. I am still not sure I can even call myself a writer or a great realtor or even a great mom/wife most days. But I CAN wake each day fully committed to Christ and what He has called me to be.
Commitment is a declaration and then an action.
Jesus said it, then He showed it. Commitment is daily and renewed. It’s a dedication to a cause. Commitment is an agreement in which can be broken but yet renewed. I am thankful for that. I am thankful that I am a child still learning with a Father who forgives me daily. That each day I can wake up and renew my commitment to him by just asking Him what he has for me.
A new me. Fully Committed to the Spirit. All other things will fall into place.