When 2015 Ends will give you some insight into why 2016 is so desperately needed. Despite my feelings toward 2015, I don't for one second discredit it for the work God did in my life/heart through it. Not easy but worth it.
Y'all, I brought in the New Year surrounded by a small group of people whom I love dearly. We spent the last 30 minutes of the year singing praises and worshiping God and the first 30 minutes of 2016 sharing testimony of God's faithfulness and praying for the new year, the church, and the lost. I cannot think of a better way to start the new year.
2015's goals were reasonable and despite me picking the word, flourish, and having it blow up in my face, I actually met enough of those goals to call it a win. I'm all about a little grace for myself at the moment.
And now God has given me a new word for 2016.
Seems like a weird word, huh? I kind of thought so too, but over and over, I felt God impress this word on my heart and in my mind. When even I don't fully understand the reasoning behind God giving me a word, I can count on Merriam-Webster to help me out a little:
: to become or to cause (something) to become deep or deeper
: to become or to cause (something, such as a feeling or emotion) to become stronger or more powerful
: to make (your knowledge, understanding, etc.) fuller or more complete
So of course I also have some goals that I think will help me along the road to figuring out this whole deepen thing.
1 // Say yes to things that line up with my core values/passions/gifts from God. But on the flip side I plan to say no to things that don't. There are so many good things out there. I could pack my schedule full of yes(s) but then what's really left of me. Part of this goal is to keep reading Lysa TerKeurst's The Best Yes. Because this is important if I am going to stay on mission with God and deepen my walk and trust in Him.
2 // Which leads me to slowing down. I want to slow down and enjoy life. Somewhere along the way, I got it in my head that the fast life was the best life. If I keep busy and cram as much into my schedule as I can, then I won't have time to think about any hard stuff. But that wasn't true then, and it's not true now. I want to slow down and smell the roses. Yeah, yeah, cliche, I know. But who doesn't love stopping and smelling the roses?
3 // And to top it off, I want to spend more time being still before the Lord and allow time in schedule for soul rest. Things that rejuvenate and give life to those passions God has intentionally and purposefully placed in my heart. I'm still trying to figure out what soul rest and being still looks like for me in this season of my life, but I'll keep you posted around here when I figure it out.
4 // Last but not least, I want to spend more time in the Word. In 2016, I will read the Bible from beginning to end continuing to wake up each morning to start my day off with His Word and not my own. I want to spend more time focused on God and less on me. Way less on me.
To sum up my 2016 plan, once again the Lord has put a song back on my heart. Seeing as it's the same song that got me to New Orleans, I feel like I am in for a heck of a year. So ... Thanks(I hope), Hillsong, for putting words to the call on my heart to go deeper ...
You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand
Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You've never failed and You won't start now
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior
That's what I want. I want to go deeper. I'm surrendering my plans for His plans. I'm determined. This year, two thousand sixteen, will be the year that my faith and trust in God will deepen like never before.