I’m sitting in our Mesa, AZ, condo watching the Parade of Roses, our New Year’s Day tradition. Soon my hubby will start clicking back and forth to “check out” the football games. All part of the tradition.
And before anyone thinks, “Wow! How on earth does she rate a second home in sunny, warm Arizona?”, let me explain. Roger works for a company based in South Carolina. They build churches all over the country. Unfortunately, there aren’t too many jobs for them in Colorado, so he travels . . . a lot. Which means I do, too. Good thing editing and writing is portable, right? Anyway, the church pays all his living expenses while he’s on a job . . . hence the condo. J They also pay for either me to travel to where he is for a couple of weeks each month, or for Roger to come home for a weekend every other weekend when I can’t leave because of other responsibilities that keep me home.
I love the beginning of a new year. With my birthday on New Year’s Eve, I tend to reflect on the past year and set some goals for the year ahead. This week, the Lord directed my attention to a passage in Isaiah 43. (I saw it first on Kathy Kovach’s status on Facebook and borrowed it for my own.)
“Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? There it is! I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands.” (Isaiah 43:18–19)
While in many ways 2009 was a good year, it still was a difficult year on a personal level. It was a year-long ordeal of distractions and derailments from best-laid plans and intentions to write more and keep up with reading as well as editing. Yet as I look back, I can see the Lord’s hand in it all.
There were times I wanted to throw out all my goals and best intentions and start over with a new career. Except the Lord kept using many of you to remind me that the race isn’t easy, but it is worth it all the trials when we persevere in the call the Lord has on us. Including writing.
One thing I’ve learned this year, and I’m not perfect by any means, is to put the past in the past, forget it, and move on . . . looking forward, keeping my eyes on Jesus, the goal. I can’t change the past, much as I might like to. But God does work all things together for my good and His glory. And when I do this, I experienced the blessed relief of His peace.
So I invite you to join me in putting 2009 (and all other previous years) in the past and focus on the goal of Christlikeness, placing all our goals, including our writing-related ones, in God’s hands to work as He sees best. For some of us, it may mean we need to lay aside some dreams for a while. For others, it will mean we need to persevere in spite of obstacles and distractions.
Whatever 2010 has for us, we can know that God is totally in control . . . and He is working all things for our good and His glory. I hope you will join me in declaring with the apostle Paul: “By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back. So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us” (Philippians 3:13–15 The Message).