To Twenty Twenty Two

On January 5th of last year, I was scribbling lines somewhere in the middle of my blue and white striped notebook. I had been anticipating this moment where the world fell silent and I made a date with reflection. Just the two of us, my journal and I. And let's be honest, I'm the one who did all of the talking. 

 The doodles would persuade you that by the end of twenty twenty one I was actively investing in the ways I talked to myself and others. I had finally let go of trying to please everyone, but instead live purposefully. It would be the year I had put God's Word in front of me more than a to-do list. There would have been decisions made on my behalf that would be generous without a second thought. Twenty twenty one would've been a fruitful year. And you know, it truly was in more ways than I even imagined. That's life with God. He'll do that to you. Scratch that, He'll do it for you.

Of course, as January of this year promptly approached, there I was again. My striped journal, black pen, and I, sitting in the same spot, yet in a new place in life. A fresh mindset, latest experiences, and recently discovered tools under my belt. New paths, new ways of living, and new patterns. I wasn't the same girl I was the last time I sat in this spot.

Tapping into our existence has got this way of leaving you speechless sometimes, at least for me. It's this constant reminder at the start of another year, let alone another day, that you and I are taking up residence with breath in our lungs to keep on going. You'll find yourself in places that are far too familiar, but you'll discover who you are is not. You'll re-visit the places of your past and see how far you've come. You'll journey the hardships that hung you high in anxiety and despair, that no longer hold you captive to their agenda. Sometimes at the start of a new year, you'll look back and not even recognize who you are becoming. Always becoming.

My pen danced in my fingers as I shuffled through thoughts I had towards twenty twenty two. 

"What did twenty twenty one teach me?"

"Which ways will I lean into all that is to come?"

"How will I live this year?"

I'm going in twenty twenty two with content. I'm approaching this year with a willing heart. I'm entering different than how I left the last. I'm stepping in free.

Words started popping and bopping all over that lined page. 

In twenty twenty two, my pen documented some of these words:

 I will be a testimony of acceleration. 

I will spend uninterrupted time with my family. 

I will practice my gifts.

I will speak quietly and humbly.

I will be a safe place for my children.

I will show love for others in large ways.

I will dwell in the house of God and in His presence. 

I will find peace with being misunderstood by others.

I will keep forgiving myself and carry a posture of grace.

I will not limit myself or my God.

I will seek first the Kingdom.

I will be blessed.

 Somewhere in the middle of that blue and white striped journal is this entry. A passage of declarations that I set out to believe by faith over this season. The records that proclaim my focus with the big words I WILL in replacement of my normal and very comfortable I want to. You can understand the seriousness of my agenda when I'm using black ink. No erasing happening here, friend. I'm all in.

This shift was one of those surprises to me. The kind of startle that reminds you how very different you are even when you're sitting in that same place, in the same situation. You might be seated somewhere that you don't want, perhaps a setting you'd never wish for, or maybe wished by now would be much further. Friend, I'm sorry this is tough. I'm sorry the journey has hurt. I'm sorry you feel discouraged by it. Whatever it is for you, I want to echo a reminder today that I think was sent specifically for you to tuck away in your heart. Its this: even when your circumstance doesn't change, you can.

You can forgive. You can heal. You can be brave. You can keep showing up. You can hope again.

It's not natural for all of us to be bold and show up with a checklist of everything we're going to rock this year. It's not easy to hold yourself to standards that you're worried to commit to only to re-visit and define as failure. It's just plain difficult to believe in yourself in a world satured with highlight reels on display. If that's you, it's time to take your confidence back. It's time for hope to be restored. 

Let me ask you a question. What's just one small mission you can set out for this year, that can continue to be built upon? Could it be something like, taking time to think before you act? What about, saying yes to more adventure? Or even, doing something out of your comfort zone? If you can lend your heart to cast one vision this year, I anticipate that everything else connected to the vision will lead you beyond what you imagined. 

For me, it all started with countless scribbles, somewhere at the end of that blue and white striped notebook. I didn't want to miss my yearly date with reflection. I don't ever want to lose site of the vision God has given me. There we were, my journal and I. And you guessed it, I'm still the one who did all of the talking. I guess I don't see that changing anytime soon.

Dear 2022, it's time to build.