2018 was not at all what I expected. I thought that the things we walked through in 2017 were pretty much an end unto themselves, and that the lessons and truth I learned then were given for those trials.
2017 was the training camp for 2018. The lessons I learned about God and about myself were the exact things I referred back to over and over again this year. I’m not trying to be vague or to cover up some illicit family scandal – of course things happened in our home that involved sin, conflict and selfishness – I am certain your home experienced those same events! The things that occurred during 2018 took place primarily in my own heart.
My word of the year was GROW. Honestly, when I chose that word I saw myself growing in fun areas like perfecting my hand lettering and serving the perfect lasagna to a crowd of guests. I worked on those things (and had fun!), but here’s the truth.
Growth is painful. This year I had to face some really ugly things, deal with them, repent, forgive and place my focus on Christ over and over.
Growth is lonely. Some of the choices I made this year were isolating, whether temporarily or permanently. You can’t stay where you are and grow at the same time!
Growth is a blessing. This year I found such richness! I have watched God step into circumstances and do amazing things for His glory. The things I learned, the choices I made and the changes that occurred in my heart allowed me to enjoy deeper, sweeter relationships with lots of people. The most important relationship that benefited from this blessing was my marriage.
Here’s a look back at my personal goals for 2018:
- Spiritual: Commit to a one-year discipleship group and complete the F260 Bible reading plan (along with my church & discipleship group)
- Marriage: Choose a passage of Scripture to pray every day for Paul
- Personal: Reach my goal weight
- Family: Be intentional with the influence I have in my niece and nephew’s lives, pointing them to Christ at every opportunity
- Household: Improve my cooking and hostessing skills with frequent practice on guests 🙂
I’m happy to say I can cross off all of those items except for the goal weight. After all, this was the year of grow. LOL. (I talked about my current approach to eating and weight loss in this video.)
The best thing I did this year was committing to pray Scripture for Paul (and myself). I prayed about which verses to use, and it has been amazing to look back and see how God has worked in our lives through those specific requests.
I hope that you’ll take a few minutes to look back over the year. Where did God step into your circumstances for His glory? If you set goals, how did you do? What did you learn?
I have no idea what lies ahead in 2019, but I am confident in the One who is already there. He goes before us, He lights the way, He knows – and He cares.