This morning I finished planning for 2013.
Yes, I make resolutions. I know the statistics: Most resolutions will be broken before noon on January 1. I am included in that stat.
But, this year feels more like planning and less like resolving. The difference?
I am wisely planning, but nothing is nonnegotiable or in concrete. I am planning based on God’s direction, not resolving based on the latest self-help book at Barnes and Noble. This isn’t about my “resolve” to do better; this is about God’s plan to know Him better.
I know plans can change in a second – one phone call, one text message. That’s happened to me in January twice – 2008 and 2012. One call, one message.
Life changed forever.
I am aware, but moving forward. So, as I planned…
I opened a blog post by Mary DeMuth titled Maybe it’s that we thrive in the middle. (It’s a must read, and God used it to change my perspective.)
Do you feel like you’re in the middle? Christmas is over, but the new year isn’t here. You have a cancer diagnosis, but the treatment hasn’t begun. You’re in marriage counseling, but it feels like an uphill battle. God’s calling you to a new place or profession, but you’re not sure where, when, or how. You’ve lost a loved one, the healing has begun, but you still feel broken.
Life just isn’t what you thought it would be.
Mary asked in her post, What if we weren’t to put our energies in visualizing a better ending? What if we learned the joy and art of thriving right now, where the answers sit unresolved, and the tension continues on? What would it look like for us to embrace now for what it is–a messy, confusing place–and still find joy?
The tension continues on. The answers sit unresolved.
The middle. You see yourself as “stuck” in this place, waiting on what you know CAN be – hopefully, prayerfully WILL be. But, it’s not yet.
The worst part? You don’t when…when you’ll feel “better”…when you’ll be “healed”…or when your brokenness will be wholeness again. Worse than that? You don’t know if. What if you’ll never be better, healed, or whole again?
I’ve asked these questions much over the past few years…if…when. They’re important questions to ask. We need to pray, seek Godly counsel, and allow God to work in and through us for healing and progress. That’s wise.
“What then?” doesn’t really matter.
We don’t have to wait for better, healing, or wholeness.
We don’t have to wait for joy.
God wants joy for us now – in the middle. He wants to use us for His glory NOW. Today. In 2013. Throughout our lives.
His Word says…
He’s working all things together for good for those who love Him even when we are weak – even when we don’t know how to pray.
26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirithimself intercedes for usthrough wordless groans.27 And he who searches our heartsknows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedesfor God’s people in accordance with the will of God.28 And we know that in all things God works for the goodof those who love him, who have been calledaccording to his purpose. Romans 8: 26 – 28
To be joyful regardless of circumstances, giving thanks in (not for) all circumstances.
16 Rejoice always ,17 pray continually,18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18
He’s overcome the world.
33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace, in this world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16: 33
So, this is where you are. God knows you’re here. He loves you. I can’t promise it will be better in 2013, but let’s pray and lean into Him together.
As for my 2013 plans? They’re coming in the next few days. They need a little more prayer;)