2015 was a year of challenges.
#1 I moved to a new place in ministry and was immediately unsure as to why I was chosen. I didn’t feel qualified or equipped to handle the job.
Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen. Hebrews 13:20-21
Even as I served others I felt like a fake. Other people around me seemed to be flourishing and finding ways to really make a difference while I was merely maintaining the status quo. When it came time to decide on whether to stay in ministry or move to something new I became even more confused. I didn’t know what I wanted anymore. Initially I didn’t feel ready for the position but eventually I realized that I also wasn’t ready to walk away. I asked God to renew my passion for the people and the mission and He showed me how I had been effective all along.
#2 I had money woes! And I mean woes from the original definition and not the Drake remix. I have been on a mission to get debt free. I was unemployed when I was diagnosed with cancer in 2011 and didn’t go back to work full time until January of 2013 so I had credit card debt, hospital bills, and car payments to deal with. I got a second job so the ends would overlap enough to hit my debt hard. And I was making good progress but so many friendships suffered and I missed out on a lot of opportunities. Not to mention that even though I was making great strides towards my goal I was filled with constant financial worry.
Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? Matthew 6:27
Matthew 6 has some of my favorite scriptures when it comes to trusting God with my day to day. I hit my goal for 2015 when it comes to crushing my debt and God has given me a plan for 2016 that doesn’t involve exhausting myself with a second job. He has shown me that he can multiply my salary to cover ALL things and how to be wise with what He has given me.
#3 I thought I had heard from God that 2014 would be my last year of singleness so I spent the first couple of months of this year with my head on a swivel keeping an eye out for my promise and with each month I grew more and more bitter.
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12
All of my prayers to God became either complaints or pleas for this to work. For this year to be different from the years before. I was so angry at God for even getting my hopes up just to be disappointed. One of those many sobbing prayers ended with God showing me how my heart had become obsessed with love from man and that I was taking for granted His infinite love for me. My hope was in the prayer instead of the One True Living God! I can’t let my heart grow cold because things aren’t happening in my time frame when there is so much more to life than relationships.
So what am I going to do different in 2016? When it comes to being valued in what I do, I won’t be focused on what others say about me but instead on Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men”. What about when I start to freak out about money? There is Matthew 6: 33-34 “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own”. And those moments I get lonely and ask God what’s up with this guy He promised me I can go back to Ecclesiastes 3:1 “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens”.
I have promises to stand on from my Father who I know has the best laid out before me. So I will dance in 2016 and I can’t wait to share what lies on the other side of the New Year.