First and foremost, Happy New Year to you!
I know we’re only several days in — perhaps we’ll be a week in by the time this reaches you — but I hope you settle into the new month and a new year well.
Leading up to the New Year, a plethora of TikToks and Instagram Reels centered on making this ‘your best year’ flooded my timeline.
All offered various manifestations and organizational hacks. Several included beautifully curated vision boards adorned with aesthetically pleasing snapshots to encourage viewers to reach the gym, business, financial, beauty, career, spiritual, and many other goals.
While I enjoyed consuming the content and even incorporated some of the hacks and practices into my new year’s plan (if you will), I haven’t felt as ‘charged’ as I expected.
Don’t get me wrong. I jumped up and down when the ball dropped, toasted with my mother and brother, and pranced around the living room in celebration of the New Year.
BUT, when I awoke on January 1, I still felt some resistance when trying to shake off the ‘rest’ I experienced closing out 2021.
A few days prior, I found myself in deep thought while enjoying the scenic view of a white wonderland of clouds.
During my return flight , I pondered on how I easily could’ve been in the depths of ‘burnout’ had I not been pressed for this vacation time. How that’s no way to end any year? Yet, it’s probably more common than not.
Several days into another year, I’m feeling blessed to find purpose in this unfamiliar place of rest.
So much so that I’m questioning if I have to leave it behind as just as an experience I had to close out 2021.
Do I have to enter a space of anxiety to be productive? Do I have to be goal-obsessed to see success?
As a chronic over-achiever, harsh self-critic, overly ambitious, etc., I’m challenging myself to lean more on my convictions than my opinions or emotions (a phrase I snatched from Jerry Lorenzo’s—the streetwear GAWD himself — Instagram Caption).
Let me give you an example: there are many times I experience feelings of uncertainty which leads me to feel unmotivated and uninspired.
However, knowing that emotions are temporal, I tap into my convictions or the truth that I am strong enough to weather the moments of uncertainty. I latch on to my almighty truth that my heavenly Father sees all and knows all – meaning where I’m unsure, he’s steadfast.
I try to meditate on these convictions until I find myself entering a state of rest.
Oop! Here’s that word again because that’s my biggest goal for the year. I aim to do all things from a place of intentionality and peace. No more running the rat race!
Instead, I’m submitting that we lighten the load and take it easy this year! Perhaps we release fear and grab hold of faith [not only of things ‘unseen’ ] but possibly what we know to be true from experience.
When I think of my experiences, there’s one common thread that weaves them all together: the hand of God working in my life.
As I stood at the curtains of 2021, the only thing I was certain of was the faithfulness of God.
It’s the only factor that’s not only kept me but has allowed me to prosper amid the chaos around me. [Shoot, just being transparent, it’s kept me from the weapons of others and my self-destructive patterns].
Back on track, with our convo on rest. My only New Year resolution is to maintain a state of rest by seeking God’s face in all that I do.
I resolve to rest in my conviction that he is faithful to hear and guide me. To allow that to be enough.
Now, I’m not saying I won’t write down goals and dreams. I have and will continue to do so!
I’m a BIG advocate for writing it down and making it plain. The issue I’m pressing is to invite God into your space while pursuing these goals. To inquire his thoughts and ask him to pull up a seat. To seek God’s guidance in all your plans.
To alleviate the stress of the ‘rat race’ — which tricks you into thinking it’s solely by your strength that you land success — and instead maintain your state of rest. To keep it manageable by simply showing up every day in prayer and action the best you can.
I find that when I do that, I have peace. I have confidence and strength because I know that God [my source] won’t allow my feet to stumble.
“He will not allow your foot to slip. He who watches over you will not slumber.”-Psalms 121: 3-5 / New International Version.
Furthermore, I know that if I follow his lead, I will always be in the right place at the right time.
“For the Lord God is a sun and shield;– Psalms 84:11/ Berean Study Bible.
The Lord gives grace and glory;
He withholds no good thing [a] from those who walk with integrity.”
That’s a promise.
I pray we strengthen our roots in our convictions. Resting assured that God is for us, meaning not only who can be against us, but that he has an entire life for us.
Regardless of if you find yourself rebuilding from last year or continuing down a path of good works, know that he has a plan — one that’s guaranteed to blow your mind.
” This is God’s Word on the subject: “As soon as Babylon’s seventy years are up and not a day before, I’ll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.”– Jeremiah 29:11 / The Message translation.
So here’s to steadying ourselves in faith this year. Here’s to strategizing and pushing for gold, all while maintaining rest and peace.