I don't like New Years Resolutions. I make them. I just don't like them. Usually resolutions are made in an effort to change something about myself I do not like. I want to be a better mother, wife, friend, child of God. How I intend to go about those things differs year to year. But the result is always the same. I can resolve all I'd like, but eventually, the willpower to keep them wanes and I am left with a broken promise I've made to myself. And no one likes to be lied to.
Last year, I decided that I was not going to lie to myself anymore. No resolutions, goals or aspirations. As I spent some time in prayer, I told the Lord how frustrated I was with this sense of "I'm a failure and I've got to change". I need to be better. Different. Anything, but who I was. I had a laundry list of things that I felt were in the way of my being "all who God wanted me to be".
I knew better of course. I knew that God wasn't putting the emotional strangle hold on me. God had been nothing if not kind, gracious and compassionate towards me. I knew He loved me. I knew that His plan for my life, and for those in it, would not be thwarted by my temporary inner conflict. He wasn't being glorified by it, however. I felt Him say, very gently, what do you want?
I dumped my list on Him. Be a better mom. Be a better wife. Be a better housekeeper. Be better at doing my devotions. The list continued. I finished by reminding Him that if I was in charge of accomplishing those things, I might as well admit defeat then and there.
A moment of clarity struck. I wanted those things. But...what did God want for me? So, I asked Him...
Lord? Umm...What do YOU want for me?
His answer was unexpected and it rocked my world.
I want Freedom for you. Freedom to be all those things. But with no pressure. No striving. Just be. Free.
What does that even look like Lord?
You'll see. Watch what I am going to do. Trust me. Remember, I always keep my promises.
In the past year, I have experienced Him and His freedom in ways I could have previously only imagined. It came bit by bit. Moment by moment. Some were huge "a-ha" moments - others were so subtle, I almost missed them. But His Freedom came.
I did nothing. No resolutions. No to do list. No spiritual striving.
Undeserved based on my inputs, but oh, so undeniably a work of His Spirit. I just rested in His Promise.
This New Year, as I reflected on what God had done, I asked what He wanted for me this year.
"Be watchful and diligent. Do no allow the shackles of bondage to be placed back on. Continue to walk in My Freedom. I've still got this."