If you’re an ambivert like me (someone who exhibits qualities of both an introvert and an extrovert) – or you’re just an introvert, you probably could not be happier that it is December 26th, and you have an entire day to spend in GLORIOUS solitude (hopefully you didn’t have to work). Or at least at home with close family. I mean, I had a BLAST with the holiday festivities over the last couple of weeks because you know…ambivert, so I DO love to socialize.
But come the day after Christmas…that’s enough socializing! I was pretty lucky. The hubs took the kids to spend their Christmas money, and I had an entire 5 hours to spend alone in complete silence, scrolling Facebook, journaling, planning blog posts and 2017 resolutions. I was poised to spend the virtually the entire day in blissful silence since it’s a Monday. Which means wrestling. Which means the hubs and all 3 kids retire to our room to watch and turn our king size bed into a mini wrestling ring. Sure they run out every once in a while to tell me which wrestler they are or who beat who, but aside from that I get to spend the night in mostly silence. Which is an especially beautiful thing when you homeschool your kids. Momma needs a break, and I am more than willing to have my freshly made bed destroyed and the occasional bloody nose (that got all over my brand new comforter – sigh…) to get it!
But, of course tonight they want to stay in here building the 50 lego sets they got for Christmas, so my time usually spent writing in silence was not to be had.
But, I digress.
As I was journaling and planning posts in that fleeting silence of the afternoon hours, my 2017 “One Little Word” came to me. I was kind of set on sticking with “surrender” this year, but when this came to me, I knew I needed to embrace it, and I was extremely excited to write this post. I knew exactly how it should go and what I wanted to say, but just as I was about to click out of Pinterest – where I was pinning mainly hairstyles I wanted to try and cute crafts to do with the kids, I came across a pin about New Year’s Resolutions.
Can you say: PLOT TWIST!!!
You’d think I’d have learned by now that with God, things never go quite the way you thought they would (Isaiah 55:9) and to expect the unexpected (Psalm 18:16-19; Proverbs 3:5-7), but what can I say? I’m old and set in my ways. I have a tendency to revert back to thinking I know it all.
Thankfully I’m growing – SLOWLY, but all the same, – so I read it, and suddenly, I knew I needed to approach this differently than I’d originally intended. Stick with me as I try to piece this all together.
The word I’d chosen was “confound.”
One of my favorite Scriptures ever is 1 Corinthians 1:27:
But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound things which are mighty. (KJV)
As I was working out my blog posts and plans for 2017, I was planning out a lot of things I’ve never done – or things I’ve tried half-heartedly, but gave up on when results and success weren’t basically instant. And as I was planning, I had a thought. This voice in my head said, “You’ve never been successful or good at any of this before. You’ve never even believed you were capable of any of these things. What makes you think this year will be any different?” Usually, thoughts like that stick with me. I tell myself I won’t listen. That I know better. That I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)
The problem is that pesky pride I can’t ever seem to shake loose of.
I think I know better than God.
He says He’ll forgive me of all my sins and past failings. He says I can do all things through His strength that is made perfect in my weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9) And I say I believe it, but usually I only half mean it.
Because I know better.
I know the mess that I am. That there’s no loving me. There’s no good I can do. No one I can truly help.
I believe it for other people, but I only say I believe it when it comes to me.
I know God is good.
I just have a hard time accepting that anyone could ever actually love me if they really knew me – and I know that He knows me. So no way can He love me. No way can He use me.
But today, when that thought crossed my mind, something different happened. Something I’ve been praying and crying out for for I’m not even sure how long.
When that voice posed the question, I had the answer.
And I was so certain of it.
I honestly don’t know whether the question came from within me or from the enemy – you know sometimes we just like to do his job for him, – but today, regardless of where it came from, when presented with the question, I was no longer like Eve that day in the garden pondering a question I’d already been given the answer to. (Genesis 3:1)
For the first time in a VERY long time, I immediately shut it down and responded with,
Well. This year I am going to prove myself wrong.
It kind of took me by surprise.
And I immediately knew my “one little word” had to be something that meant “to prove wrong,” so I just used my trusty Google and asked for synonyms for “proven wrong.” When I saw “confound,” I knew it was the one. I had to prove to myself that I was wrong about myself all this time, and when I looked back at this time next year, I would be amazed by what I had accomplished.
It was the first time in my life I ever really truly made a decision without considering what anyone would think – not even God. And I know if you’re a Christian, that sounds bad, but you have to take into consideration that I think so much about what God thinks that I try to tell Him what He thinks about me, so it’s not that I don’t care what He thinks. I absolutely do. It’s just that it’s the first time I truly just let the Spirit lead me without over thinking it and reminding Him about how much I had failed in the past.
For the first time, I just knew it. I didn’t doubt. I didn’t hesitate. I just went with it. Went with Him.
And so much peace followed.
And that’s where the article comes in. It said that the best resolution we could make is to “Abide in Jesus.” It ends with:
Abide in Me – Jesus says.
Make your home in Me – Jesus invites.
Here’s the great NEWS and promise from Jesus:
You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain (John 15:16).
You have been pursued, rescued, and redeemed by Jesus.
Abiding in Jesus is not about accomplishing more.
It’s about trusting that He is at work as we rest, delight, and enjoy Him.
It’s about seeing our lives as an extension of what He wants to do IN us and THROUGH us.
And that tied it all up for me. I knew in order to confound myself, I was going to have to abide in Him.
No matter what your resolution is, the best way to achieve it will ALWAYS be by ABIDING IN HIM.
Here’s to a New Year filled with blessings and more importantly, Jesus.