In the last few years, life has tossed us against the rocky shore. We’ve gotten beaten up a bit in the storms, but the journey has been a valuable one. They’ve taught me about basic life principles. Things that I promise myself.
These last years found us in the thick of chemotherapy treatments for cancer, watching the declining health of my mother-in-law who has since passed with Alzheimer’s dementia, and preparing to send our boys off to college.
Life offers no guarantees. None of us knows how much time we have on this earth, only that the number of our days are known by God before we take our first breath.
As I think back on the last few years and the trials we have faced, I’m so grateful for His faithfulness. I’m thankful that even when I didn’t know how we would make it through the difficulties, He always did.
The trials we’ve endured through these years have taught me a few things. I’ve experienced first hand that God’s word is true. His promises can be trusted. I’ve realized I worried when I should have trusted, and I despaired when I had reason to maintain my hope.
I celebrated a milestone birthday and believe that God wants my latter years to be better than my former years. The enemy came to steal, kill, and destroy, but Jesus came so that we could have life to the full. But I believe we have a part to play in that. We don’t always get to choose our circumstances, but we do get to choose how we will react to them. So I’ve given considerable thought about how I would like to choose to respond in the future.
I’m not much of a fan of New Year’s resolutions per se’. By January third, too many people feel like a failure, and then give up for the rest of the year on goals that were perhaps never the right focus to begin with.
Instead, I’ve prayerfully considered some basic life principles that I’d like to become more consistent in adopting. These are the kinds of things that I’d like to be known for when I’m no longer here. Life is short. I’m tired of wasting energy on things that don’t really matter.
15 things I promise myself this year
1. I’m going to remember that I serve God, not man.
2. I will focus on God’s call for my life, not a career.
3. I’m going to spend more time looking through the larger windshield of my future than the small rearview mirror of my past.
4. I’m going to walk in His peace, and not let worry, fear, and anxiety rule my experience.
5. I’m going to look for the little things in life to be grateful for, while thanking God for the ways He has used my pain from the past for good and for His glory.
6. I’m not going to let comparison steal my joy; I’m going to recognize that we are better together and cheer others on as they obey God’s leading in their life.
7. I’m going to continue looking for opportunities to offer His help, hope, and healing to others who are in need.
8. I’m going to enjoy the journey instead of making it about the destination.
9. I’m going to appreciate present over perfect.
10. I’m not going to allow other people’s fears, insecurities, and opinions limit my future.
11. I’m not going to give attention to being dismissed, ignored, overlooked, rejected, or ridiculed by others, but instead remember that I am accepted, chosen, loved, redeemed, esteemed, and found worthy by Him, the only One who matters.
12. I choose not to pick up a spirit of offense, but to separate people and their actions from the evil that dwells within them, and offer grace, forgiveness, mercy, and love.
13. I’m not going to waste precious time trying to prove something to someone who doesn’t care about me anyway.
14. I’m going to take risks and live boldly courageous for Him.
15. I’m going to allow God to keep refining me like precious gold so I will become more like Him.
Are you making changes in the new year? I’d love to hear what changes you are planning on making this year in the comments below.
Make it a hope-filled year!
Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
No question, we have a lot to worry about. Children, jobs, homes, health, finances, and more. The solution isn’t to rid ourselves of the sources of anxiety – as if we could. Instead, we need to recognize that anxiety originates from a spiritual influence and that we can fight back using the God-given weapons of power, love, and a sound mind.
We can discover true peace in an age of anxiety.
In Breaking Anxiety’s Grip, Dr. Michelle Bengtson shares her own story of emerging from the battle with anxiety as well as the stories of others. She reminds you of your identity as a follower of Christ and of the peace he promises you in spite of everything.
She provides tools to cope with the crushing emotional burden of anxiety now and, more importantly, shows you how to reclaim God’s peace as a way of life so that you can break anxiety’s grip.
Breaking Anxiety’s Grip: How to Reclaim the Peace God Promises is now available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ChristianBooks.com, Books-A-Million, and other fine book retailers.
Click here to learn more: Breaking Anxiety’s Grip
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