Tuesday, January 1, 2013

I'm Not Going Back

The above photo came from crosscards.com.

Welcome back my friends! I hope you had a great Christmas. Christmas Day here was very busy, but also very blessed. We got to go visit with some family we haven't seen in a while. One of the greatest blessings for me is being with family, especially at Christmas time.

Happy New Year to you! I hope you will be greatly blessed throughout this coming year, and that it will be filled with love, laughter, and joy. I don't know about you, but I usually try to take some time to sit back and reflect over the year towards the end of December. I try to look at areas where I think the Lord is speaking to me about making certain changes, or areas where He is showing me I need to grow in. There have been many times where He has shown me areas where I need to let go of certain things or certain people. This year is no different.

This morning, as I was doing my devotions, I was reflecting back over this past year and all the challenges that came with it. (There were many.) I just started a new devotional book this morning called, Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. The reading for today really jumped off the page at me. There were two sentences that grabbed hold of me during my time of reflection. "Do not cling to old ways as you step into a new year. Instead, seek My face with an open mind, knowing that your journey with Me involves being transformed by the renewing of your mind." God spoke so clearly to me through these words, as well as through the Scripture verses that went along with the devotional for today. (I will include those at the end of my post today for you to read.)

Here is what I believe God was showing me this morning......many of the frustrations and stresses I have been bogged down and burdened by this past year have been because I have been trying to do what only He can do. I have gotten so caught up in trying to change people's minds and hearts in my own strength, and my own way, that it has caused me a tremendous amount of stress and frustration.  You know those times where you are trying so hard to get someone to see something that is very clear to you, but it seems no matter how hard you try or how many times you try, you just can't get them to see it? Well, that's where I've been the majority of the time this last year.

God has seen my frustration with certain situations and He has seen how negatively it has been affecting me, especially physically and emotionally, so I know this was Him telling me that I needed to change the way I think about these things and to release them to Him. I needed to leave these old ways of thinking at His feet and move forward in a new direction.

It grieves His heart when His children are so burdened down with things we weren't meant to carry in the first place. We cannot change any one's mind, or heart, about something that they are blind to. Their blindness may be something they are choosing, or it could be coming from something the enemy is using against them. Either way, only God can remove the scales from their eyes. Only God can change their heart and mind in situations like this. My frustration was coming from trying to do His job, which only resulted in wearing me out and leaving me angry and frustrated.

This past year was certainly filled with many challenges and many painful situations, but it was also filled with many joyful moments that have helped carry us through the hard times. There were also many valuable lessons learned, even though they came through much adversity, but then again, isn't that the way most valuable lessons come? Adversity gives us some of the greatest lessons we will ever learn. "Sometimes adversity is what you need to face in order to become successful." ~Zig Ziglar

I wish you all the very best for this new year my friends. Please remember, if you're in a situation where you feel like you're hitting a brick wall over and over, trying to get someone to see something that's perfectly clear to you, it may not be your job to show them. Give the situation over to God and let Him do what only He can do. It's much less stressful and frustrating that way. Until next time my friends, be blessed!

"Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you]." ~Romans 12:2 (AMP)

"I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for." ~Jeremiah 29:11 (MSG)

 The Lord says: “My thoughts and my ways are not like yours.   Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, my thoughts and my ways are higher than yours." ~Isaiah 55:8-9 (CEV)