Normally, I hate both the term and the custom of New Year’s Resolutions. Lightly made, quickly broken … and the whole cliché thing of “turning over a new leaf” just like we turn the pages of a calendar. It isn’t that easy.
But these last few weeks, I’ve had a few intense conversations with God about my family life, my writing, and a couple of dramas going on in the periphery of my little world, and He’s impressed some things on my heart.
For one, I must not despise the time that I spend in prayer and tears over anything, for I have no idea what fruit may come of it—whether or not it was that particular intensity of intercession that brought about a breakthrough.
Two, I must stop comparing myself unfavorably to other writers whose work I consider brilliant. I do not live their life, and vice versa. I have often questioned God why He needs me, when He has them—but I am slowly coming to recognize the beauty of the uniqueness we all bring to our own stories, including my own.
Three, I must release myself to write whatever is on my heart, and yet not ignore whatever God is pressing me to do that seems too hard or irrelevant.
Four, I must renew my commitment to diligence, in all things. (Including getting back to the gym, if for no other reason but to justify the $60 sports bra I recently purchased … yes, I’m hard to fit; what of it?)
Nothing new, really … obey, believe, hold fast … know that God is going to work out all things in His own timing. The thing is to relax and rest in that timing. Not rush so much on the journey, but stop to enjoy the view and smell the flowers. Savor the talent of those whose work I’ve been honored to read during this past year, to patiently offer support where God directs.
And another thing … stop feeling guilty about enjoying the blessing of those who genuinely love my work. There’s nothing unspiritual about being glad that someone likes my writing or is blessed by the story … and He intends us to take strength and courage from the companions He’s given us on the journey. So, I want to start 2007 by thanking each one of you who has supported and encouraged me in some way. How awesome is our God, who not only lights the path before us, but walks it with us and allows us to share it with each other!
Love to YOU!!!! (I have a $60 bra too but it’s, snif, a nursing bra. But I think I’ve gotten more than my use out of it – okay, baby, time to wean.)
I’m with you on those non-resolutions.
J. M. Hochstetler says
Shannon, I needed to hear this today too. Thank you for your faithfulness to your calling and your encouragement for me and others too! God is working out his purposes in our lives and will make us fruitful for his kingdom in ways we will never know until we come home.