Did you make a New Year's Resolution?
Have you broken it yet?
Setting a self improvement goal seems like a great tradition, but many of us get discouraged quickly because we choose too big of a piece of the pie. For the last 7 days of the year we are bombarded with advertisements telling us it is time for a change. We buy into the hype that we can be slimmer, healthier, a better parent, break addictions, or start a new life just because the calendar changes. Companies sink a ton of money into telling us their product can help us be a better person.
Some people nail it.
They make a New Year's Resolution, give it 100%, and it changes their life. Their story gives us hope that we can do it too! The truth is each of us has the ability to live a radically different life, but the infomercials don't tell the whole story. We see the success but don't hear about the repeated failures. We don't hear about the times that person who desperately wanted to lose weight stuffed their face with junk food and felt guilty for days. The repeated relapses of addiction are glossed over. Gut wrenching failure doesn't make good commercials. We are built up with a false hope that we can easily make these big changes.
The truth is you may not be ready to build your future.
You may not even be ready to start building a foundation for your future. There's a lot of work that has to be done to prepare the ground before the first block of a skyscraper can be laid. Surveys of the area are done long before a shovel hits the dirt. Plans are drawn up, a team is assembled, debris must be removed, the ground must be leveled, supplies are brought from miles away to prepare for the build.
Just like that skyscraper-Your dream can't be built on a pile of junk.
Not every building site is suitable for a permanent structure. You may not be standing in the right place to build something that will withstand a storm. You will never know until you start pulling back those layers of junk and see what you're standing on.
Maybe this year isn't your year to build.
But there is something you need to know. Long before life started piling junk on you, God was making preparations for your life. Even if you sit paralyzed by the fear of peeling back those layers of brokenness, God is putting things in place to nurture you. God knows your dream life will be found by returning to His dream for your life.
When you start peeling back the layers of junk you'll finally be able to see yourself through His eyes. You'll catch tiny little glimpses of His preparations and it will give you hope. When you finally see the life God desires for you it will resonate deep within your soul. You'll know He is in it and in you.
So don't buy into the hype that you MUST go into this year with a plan to be amazing by Friday.
You are already amazing because you are a beloved child of God.
You're banged up and bruised by some bad choices, but you're still kicking. You have hope because Jesus stands in your place when it's time to pay for those mistakes. He has you covered.
If being made new by your savior doesn't make you amazing, then nothing will.
Wherever you are in your journey-Be OK with it. Give yourself permission to work on one layer of pain at a time. Listen to the negative voices in your head, but don't believe them. Study them. Figure out why they're so discouraging to you. Chances are pretty good those words that discourage you are the complete opposite of what God is telling you.
New Year's Resolutions can be a good thing if you choose them wisely.
Are you willing to try something different this year?
Here are three resolutions you can implement now that will help turn you towards the dream life you were created to live:
- Decide who you want to listen to this year. Resolve to get up every day and ask, "Where is God today?"
- Do the opposite of what the negative voices are telling you to do. That's where your true potential as a child of God will be found.
- Let God set your pace this year. Let Him be perfect while you work on being in His presence.
These are things you have to choose everyday. You will have to make these choices several times each day. Don't see that as a failure. Keep choosing. Keep seeking. Keep looking at yourself through God's eyes.
You can do it.
Not because I say you can, but because God says you can.
Angela is a wife, mother of five, blogger and the founder of Broken, Beautiful, Bold. She is passionate about sharing her nontraditional faith journey through speaking, blogging, and facilitating small groups. Angela has been a nurse for nearly 15 years and holds a Bachelors of Biblical Studies from Indiana Wesleyan. Her short story "The Turkey Trail" was recently published in the short story collection "Naturally Yours: Stories About Indiana's State Parks and Reservoirs" She also enjoys cooking, gardening, and exploring the outdoors with her family. Angela is available to speak to groups of any size about Broken Beautiful BOLD or her personal journey contact her at Facebook.com/AngelaJHerrington