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I’ve been trying to think of a way to start this post that will kind of ease you in to what I want to share.
However, that’s not going to happen – not this time.
Instead, let’s jump right in.
Yesterday was Christmas – Merry Christmas! I had a wonderful day with my family, that started at way-too-early-o’clock. Seriously…it was not even 4am. I’d like to apologize to my parents for all my early-morning Christmas wake-ups. I was so tired! Ironically, my dad was up today before my kids. Go figure! 😉
After a day with my family, I happened to find War Room on demand last evening, so I asked my husband if he wanted to rent it. We watched it and thoroughly enjoyed it!
Even better, though, it drove home a lot of important reminders for me.
If you’ve seen the movie, let’s just start by saying that the way that they depict prayer in the movie – doing battle against the enemy – is the way I’ve been praying for a couple of years now. Maybe not as eloquently, but in the same manner.
I realized early on in my struggle that while the choices made around me were truly sin, that my response did not have to be what others thought it should be.
One quote really stuck out to me, though there were many good lines in the movie:
“Victories don’t come by accident.”
That seems to tie in so appropriately with the word the Lord has laid on my heart for 2016 – Overcome.
And because of that, I am stepping intentionally into the new year with a few plans that I want to share with you.
First off, let’s get the big, scary one out of the way:
I had a few quiet moments last week, and stopped to ponder some things I’d been mulling over in my mind. Within 15 minutes, the outline for something I’ve wanted to write came to life on paper in front of me. I was amazed. I had hoped to write it last June, but that never took shape.
I plan to tackle this intentionally by carving out time specifically for this piece of writing, and by giving myself a deadline – as soon as I decide on one (because that part terrifies me). Fortunately, I have a great group of writer friends to keep me on track!
I think we also ~overcome~ on purpose. Yes, there’s a lot to be said for waiting, trusting God’s timing – those are all necessary. But at some point, there comes that moment when we decide we’re ready to move forward. I am at that point. Though what I plan to write about (above) comes from the pain I’ve endured, I am ready to look back on that part of my life, not live in it.
Though the writing will not necessarily be easy, I expect the healing to be difficult. Why? Because the enemy doesn’t just look to knock us over or sidetrack us. No, he looks to destroy:
“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” — I Peter 5:8
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” — John 10:10
Along with a word for the year, God has laid a few very select books of the Bible and people/stories to study on my heart. I’m eager to see what’s ahead as I study through these.
After watching War Room, I want to be more intentional with my prayer life, so I picked up Fervent, by Priscilla Shirer. The description of the book talks about developing prayer strategies to strike back against the enemy.
I also purchased The Resolution for Women. From the description of the book – “A woman’s banner should be an accurate reflection of who she desires to be-someone completely Christ-centered who blesses and changes things in her world for the better.” This book is for the healing – for moving forward, for regaining my footing as a wife, a woman of God, someone with a calling on her life.
The Lord has also laid on my heart the books of Job and Hosea. While I was at the bookstore today, I picked up these two small devotionals to help in that study.
I’ve never used either of these two books as a Bible study before, but since they were available, I picked them up to begin my studies. I look forward to the time to study and be more intentional in my own personal growth at the start of the new year.
If you’ve been around here at the end of a calendar year, you know I’ve been focused on the year ahead. You might wonder why? After all, I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, so why the big push to start the new year well?
I guess it’s because I want to be better, to do better, to grow.
In my own life, if I look back, there’s a lot to see. There are many places to look back and choose regret. We all have those times, don’t we?
I’ve spent the last two years just trying to get back on my feet. Those verses above – they’re true. The enemy is vicious. When he doesn’t take you out one way, you can be sure he’ll try another. And that’s what has happened in my life.
I’ve reached the point of accepting my life. The mess has given me some beautiful gifts. Each morning when I open my eyes, I’m grateful for a new day – whether it’s at way-too-early-o’clock, or some more reasonable time. Friends who have walked out have made room for friends who have walked in and God has set a transition plan in place – an answer to a direct prayer to please make these changes in my life serve a purpose.
More than that, though, I’m ready to share what I’ve learned with the next person.
You see, we’re all going to face crises. As women, though, the emotions of trauma, of tragedy, can knock us out and keep us down for some time. And that’s okay.
The healing, the recovery, the growth – it all takes time.
2016. Overcome. Intentionally. I pray these resources here are a blessing to you.
I’d love to know your plans for the new year, and what God is doing in your heart.