“We are all trying to live our best life in a world that wants us to fail… but that’s only because they are scared of what could happen if we succeed with God on our side.”
HAPPY NEW YEAR!! Little delayed? I like to think otherwise.
We are officially one month in to 2018. We have had one month to live out resolutions, start fresh with new relationships and rekindle the relationships we’ve lost, and set new goals for ourselves to keep us inspired each and every day.
Personally, I have never been one to make a New Year’s Resolution. Each year, New Year’s Eve arrives and people gather together to celebrate in their own, unique ways with traditions that have been set for generations. For my family, New Year’s Eve doesn’t have the same effect. We don’t put a lot of emphasis on that night because honestly, what makes 12:00am on January 1st any different from 12:00am on any other day of the year? Other than the title we’ve given it, of course.
For those of you reading this who did set a resolution for 2018, are you still standing by it? Have you followed through with what you promised yourself or have you had unexpected obstacles come your way and block the path you thought God had put in front of you for this year? Obstacles that make you feel like you aren’t good enough, aren’t talented enough, or aren’t strong enough to complete the resolution you set out to complete? For the sake of this blog, let’s call these obstacles our “giants”.
Have you heard the story of David and Goliath? If not, I suggest you read it (1 Samuel 17), but here is a quick summary. God sent Samuel to Bethlehem to find a new king. He told him to go to Jesse, who had 8 sons, and He told Samuel that one of those sons would be the next king. David was Jesse’s youngest son and the last option that anyone thought God would choose to be king. Why? No one believed in David’s abilities. They thought he was too young, too weak, too scared to fight Goliath. * Goliath was a giant living in the Philistines’ land, who needed to be defeated. He was protected with armor and was ready to kill whoever got in his way. * Through all of the people who told David that he wouldn’t succeed, he could have made the choice to back away, to not trust that God would be there for him. But he didn’t. Without any physical armor to protect himself at all, David trusted that God was the only armor he needed to fight this giant. So, he gathered five stones and a sling, and with one shot, David killed the giant. He instantly became a hero.
I love this story because it shows how no matter what giants come into our life and try to defeat us, God will always be our protector, our armor, and guide us through to continue on the path He laid out for us. We will be made stronger and our fears will become smaller with each obstacle He guides us through.
The way I see it, we are given 365 days a year to go after our dreams, grow deeper in our faith, and make changes in our lives’ to better ourselves, so why do we wait for the day when society says, “Alright! Here is your restart!”, when we can restart our mentality towards life at any moment we choose? We are constantly having to defeat giants in our life. Some are smaller than others, but each giant that crosses our path will cause our life to take a turn, or at least a detour, resulting in our yearly “resolutions” to be swayed and altered. Why wait all year for New Year’s Eve to arrive again so we can choose another resolution to tackle?
For me, a resolution is a dream. It’s a goal. It is something we set for ourselves to motivate us to become a better person. For Christmas this year, I got a new 2018 planner (thanks mom!), and at the beginning of each month, it asks me to fill in a list of six goals: spiritual, family, friendship, physical, personal, and financial, along with asking me to fill in my “Top Priority This Month”, and giving myself a monthly challenge. I had never thought to sit down and write these goals out for myself each month, and honestly, it was a little hard for me. This list forced me to admit to myself that I do need to set goals for financial help or put more effort towards a relationship that has soured or pay more attention to my physical lifestyle. It also made me realize that these were, in some ways, my own “resolutions”. These were the things in my life that I needed to focus on and dedicate time to and I am able to set new ones each month.
At the beginning of each year, my friends and I get together for a “Vision Board Party”, where we all bring magazines, poster board, and a few craft items, and we cut out anything we see that inspires us. It can be quotes, photos, actors, movie posters, literally anything! We then attach them to poster board and put them somewhere in our home where we can get daily reminders of the things that make our hearts flutter and dreams go wild.
When I started making my vision board this year, I realized as I flipped through the magazines that nothing was making me feel as inspired as it had in years past. The occasional quote that made me think, “that could be a cool song.”, and of course the annual photo of Zac Efron made the cut, but in comparison to years’ prior, my board felt empty. I couldn’t decide if I should blame myself for loosing inspiration for the dreams I had set in my life or the lack of photos printed in the magazines. Whatever it was, I left the vision board party thinking that I needed more.
Why was I craving more though? I have made vision boards for years but what was it about this particular one that left me with such strong emotions? I had a blast with my classmates, as always, working together, reminiscing on last year’s memories and looking forward to the coming years accomplishments. When I got home, I had a long conversation with a friend about the night, explaining how I didn’t leave feeling inspired for what is to time like I had in years past. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t feel discouraged or disheartened, but I knew there was something different. Throughout our conversation, I spoke honestly about where my heart was at, and through that came a revelation. It was a realization that I had actually stopped living my life waiting for things, like a vision board, to spark that inspiration in my heart.
In 2017, I allowed myself to take my dreams, no matter how big or small, and do whatever I could to turn them into my reality. I trusted in God like I never had before. I wanted to live my life at the fullest capacity of what He made me to be able to do. I felt inspired every day! So when it came time for me to envision what 2018 would look like, I had already been doing it. Instead of mentally preparing myself for what “could be”, I started living my life for what “would be”. I didn’t have to sit and wait anymore, and I certainly didn’t need 12:00am on January 1st to happen for me to feel that sense of a fresh start in my life.
Every morning is an opportunity for you to change your ways. Every night is a time for you to thank God for the good and the bad in your life and ask him for guidance against the giants that may come your way. And every moment is a chance for you to open your eyes to your abilities and conquer everything God has put in your heart to do. Your dreams are in your heart for a reason, you just have to trust that He will make them happen in His time. While you’re on the journey He set out for you, you must work hard every single day. You must work on your craft and never stop wanting to be better at the talents He gave you.
I believe any of us can do something as powerful and remarkable as David did if we hand our lives fully over to God and trust Him with our future. A vision board, a yearly resolution, or any other method won’t help us conquer our own giants. Only God can help us through it. We can accomplish big things, just like David did. We just need to remember three things:
1. We need to know who our enemy is. David knew Goliath was his enemy in this situation. There will always be someone or something who will try to tear you down and stop you from fulfilling the life God is creating for you. We need to be cautious of the giants that will stand in our way and trust that we can conquer them.
2. We need to be aware and fully accept the abilities and talents God gave YOU. Not everyone can be amazing at everything, so we have to stop comparing ourselves to our peers and focus on the talents we were specifically given. Those skills will be what carries you to reach your full potential.
3. We need to remember that God is in control. When things get tough and it seems like our giants are winning, we need to believe in Him more, not less. It’s easy to get mad and frustrated when things aren’t working out the way we want them to, but it’s in those times that we need to trust God more and know that we can do anything through Him.
A lot can happen in one year. Document it. Set goals for yourself each month. Explore new things. Meet new people. We are all trying to live our best life in a world that wants us to fail… but that’s only because they are scared of what could happen if we succeed with God on our side. Let’s conquer those giants together. 2018 will only be as good as you allow it to be. So let it be absolutely amazing.