On December 31, 2015, I wrote this in my journal: 2016. The year I believed the truth of who I am and acted on it. The year I had the courage to set boundaries. The year I quit letting myself and others rob me of the good. The year I chose freedom. The year I began to truly trust God. The year I fully embraced that I am a daughter of the King; fully known and fully loved. The year I loved God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength, and loved myself and others in a kinder, deeper way. 2016, the year I lived in the Kingdom of God, here and now.
I spent several months reflecting on the past year; the good, the beautiful, the painful, the heartache. What did I learn? What do I want to embrace? What do I need to leave behind? What must change in order to fully live the life God intends?
Cleaning, clearing, decluttering, removing those things which have filled my mind, my time, my heart with less than. Less than what God desires for me and less than what I desire for myself. I want to create space for what matters most…loving Him, and loving others and myself.
As I wrote in my journal over the last few months, I decided on some areas of change. One was, I needed more than one journal. A journal for my conversations with God, a journal for my day, and a journal for my dreams, goals, and visions.
I also felt a leading that 2016 should be my year of learning to set boundaries. God had been revealing to me over the course of 2015, that my lack of boundaries was not honoring to him. As a people pleaser, I know I live too much in the fear of others, but I had not given myself permission to set boundaries. Setting boundaries has always felt…well…not nice. And if I’m not nice, I risk someone being unhappy with me. And if someone is unhappy with me…yeah.
Hold on, let me just give a quick call to my therapist.
On Sunday, January 2, our family listened to a podcast by Dan Allender entitled “Beginning the Year Well”. It was affirming for me. Much of what he suggested, I had already done. But one of the things I had not done; Dan suggested blessing 2015. I have to be honest, blessing 2015 was not what I wanted to do. While I had journaled what I was grateful for in the year, the last six months were especially hard and I was ready to be done with 2015.
I could write a gratitude list, but was I really willing to bless 2015?
And there was Jesus; standing, knocking at the door.
Jesus, I bless 2015. There is much about the year I do not understand and that’s okay. It’s okay to have both questions and hope. It’s okay to have both lament and joy. Oswald Chambers wrote, “If we could see the floor of God’s immediate presence, we would find it strewn with the “toys” of God’s children who have said—This is broken, I can’t play with it any more, please give me another present. Only one in a thousand sits down in the midst of it all and says—I will watch my Father mend this.” Oh God, may I be one in a thousand.
This is my prayer for 2016 inspired by Dan’s podcast: Dear God, You continue to lovingly come for my broken heart. You continue to lovingly free me from bondage. You continue to lovingly cause my blind eyes to see. I join you in a larger purpose. I join you in the calling to the broken hearted, to those in bondage, to the blind; which, is indeed, all of us. Whatever lies ahead in the year 2016, it is the year of the Lord’s favor. Amen.
So, here we are a few weeks into 2016 and I am reminding myself that this life is a process. I want to be patient, to press on, to continue on my journey of well-being. One small step at a time.