Sometimes when you make a decision you are hit with obstacles that make you question that decision.
Here is a decision I made recently. I am going to "Live intentionally, with and on purpose. To become a better woman, wife and mom all by the grace of God." That was the decision I made. This is in no way, shape or form a New Year's Resolution. This is a decision that came from hitting bottom. Rock bottom. Losing everything. Realizing it is darkest before the dawn. Realizing something has got to give.
I have set some big goals for the first 6 months of the year. I like change and I like to be able to adjust, so I picked 6 months. I might find that is not working for me and change it to seasonally. Only time will tell. I am setting goals along the way to help those big goals see the light of day. I am holding myself accountable, but I am not beating myself up if I fail. Because - I am not perfect and I will fall and I will fail.
The underlying change to all of this is that I learned one thing hitting rock bottom. I need God. I accepted Jesus as my savior in April 2005, but have I really accepted him? Have I surrendered my life to him? No. I found myself in September or so asking - where's my story of how finding the Lord just turned my life around? I was mad, I wanted my story of how Jesus changed things. I truly felt this life of being a believer isn't much different than not being a believer, in fact it's worse. I got really mad. I got so mad that I was ready to throw in the towel. I was still going to church, but I was sitting there - yeah, but-ing everything I was listening to.
This was all happening during a series we were doing city wide called the journey home. I remember every week walking out of church saying, "What did the talk about?" I had NO CLUE! Oh my mind was the devil's playground. I had just finished a bible study about the Battlefield Mind by Joyce Meyer, so you would think I would have learned a thing or two.
Life was spinning out of control and I was praying for God to step in and save us. The more I prayed the more things spinned out of control. The more specific I got with my prayers the worse things got. I had others praying for what we needed. We were only seeing unanswered prayers. People came through here and there but God never showed up in the big stuff. That made me even more mad, hurt and angry. Where was this "loving father"?
God was taking everything from me and I couldn't figure out what was going on. God had forgotten me. God was forsaking me. God wasn't there for me. God needed me to hit rock bottom. God needed me to give up.
The month of December our church did a series entitled Simplify Christmas. The challenge was to spend 1/2 of what you normally do on Christmas and give the other 1/2 away.
There was no way we were going to participate in this challenge. We didn't even have half of what we normally spend to spend on Christmas.
This series did something else for me. This series focused, for the first time for me since I have been a believer, the real reason of Christmas. The true meaning of what happened Christmas morning. Love came to earth and took human form. Love was born of a virgin. Jesus was born to bring love.
Going through this Christmas season - and really this season in our lives - it made me evaluate my life. Is this really how God wants us living? What can I do about it because my way isn't working? That right there is what God needed me to see. My way doesn't work. We need to do things His way. Then the question is how do we do that. Lord knows I don't have that answer. What I do know is that I can look at my habits and the way I do things and be intentional about what I do and what I think.
Here is a great example for you. It tells us in 1 Peter 5:7 "Cast all your worries to the Lord for he cares for you." This is what I would do. Worry, worry, worry - oh hey, God can carry this for me - pray. Didn't get MY answer in MY time, so I take it back and worry some more. A dear friend of mine told me you can't worry and pray at the same time. So now this is what I do. I find myself worrying about my situation, I pray. Because my mind is not renewed I fail. I take it back sometimes so I can worry about it some more. Now instead of just keeping it and fretting about something I can't do anything about. I give it back. Over the last 24 hours I have given one thing, the same thing, back to the Lord 3 times. I can keep doing this until I quit taking it back. Tomorrow maybe I only have to give it back twice.
I have decided I am leaning into HIS will for us. HIS will has got to be better than mine. He declares that HE has plans for us to prosper. My way isn't prospering, maybe I should start listening.