Looking Forward to 2017

Photo Credit: David Marcu via Unsplash

There is something special about the New Year. I never get as excited about each new day. Yet as we approach a New Year I get excited.  In recent years I have taken to just reflecting back on the year and Gods faithfulness. Then I begin to plan for the year ahead.  I’ve given up the idea of resolutions for a One Word theme I ask God to reveal.  I have done this for a few years now.  After the theme is revealed I purpose to make goals to go along with that where I can.

2016 didn’t lend itself to tangible goals. 2016’s theme was “Dreams Come True”.  I thought it would look a certain way.  In some ways, I was disappointed.  In other quieter ways though I saw the unfolding of hidden dreams.

For many years I secretly hoped that God would call me into working for Him.  I received calls that are not yet manifested.  Still, it felt like little ordinary things and so small.  I would never have admitted it out loud but I wanted that God would require that I didn’t hold a secular job. That He would take care of me as He does for preachers and missionaries.  Then this year in ways I couldn’t deny He told me to stop seeking going back to work.  The door was closed.  I knew it was and still I was beating it down.  He said that I was to begin trusting Him for provision.  It looked nothing like I thought it would.  Half the time I thought that I was doing nothing of worth.  The other half I was questioning my sanity, the choice before me and whether anything made sense.  I fought against it then I surrendered and then fought some more. I’ve never had to trust God for finances.  That was something I could do on my own. I grasped that I just didn’t believe that He would show up.  I hoped maybe He would….but I didn’t have an attitude of expectation.  This was much harder than I thought it would be.  I was seeing holes in what I believed God would do.  It looked nothing like I thought it would.

In some ways, I also had this idea in the back of my mind that one day it might be fun to write a book.  Only it was one of those off in the distance always tomorrow type dreams.  Something you look toward as fun and yet never actually make a priority in your life.  I knew that at some point God would use my story.  I had been told this for many years.  In July 2015, it was said that I should be writing my story to bless others by a lady in my Sunday School class.  My mom gave me permission and I started only to realize I had no idea what I was doing.  I stopped working on it.  This year God brought that back around and has pressed me into making this a priority.  It still doesn’t look like I thought it would.  It is a secret dream though so it applies.

There is another secret dream that I still do not admit to having. It is equal parts terrifying and thrilling.  God has spoken to that also although it is still a far-off promise.  So while it looked nothing like I thought it would 2016 was the year of “Dreams Come True”.  This year I knew about mid-December that I had not sought God for 2017 yet.  Usually it takes me a week or more to hear God clearly when I do this.  So one day I said God, I need to know what the focus is supposed to be for 2017.  I’ll pray more about it later but just so you know I want to hear you.  In just minutes I knew instantly what it would be.   I rarely feel like I hear God that quickly.  It is a new aspect of my walk with Him the last little bit.  2017 will be the year to “Let Go”

let-go

God has been dealing with my lately on some things.  One of those has been my desire to have control over ALL the things.  2016 was a year of massive change and growth.  The thing about me is that I find all change to be hard.  Even the positive changes are hard for me to adjust to.

2017 is coming in with much excitement already.  God has granted me things to be excited about and promises still on the horizon.  At the same time, there are some things going on all around me that provide growth opportunities.  Let Go seems almost risky to choose when I know that it invites God to test my resolve in all the things.  I have been known to pick some hard words/themes in the past.  This one brings a knowing that it may prove just as hard to apply as the year that I chose Submission as my word.  2013 “The Year of Submission” became one of the first years God decided to turn my life upside down.  He hasn’t stopped each year the adventure just grows bigger and bigger.

Already I see at a glance that I need to “Let Go” in these areas

  • of my need for Control
  • of my expectations and plans
  • of the old way of looking at things
  • of my need for approval
  • of thinking, I know anything about what God is doing
  • of living my life compartmentalized

As I look forward to 2017 I have, to be honest in the past I always compartmentalized my blog as being about faith only.  You know God knows my life is so much more.  As I let go of compartmentalizing things I’m going to break all the blogging rules. I will write about whatever is on my heart any given week and it will cover all the things that make me, well me.  This desire to be the same inside and outside and to live my life whole is something I asked God to help me do.  Thanks to hearing a guest speaker at church this year.  I never knew that it should be something that I should strive for.

Sharing Gods Word will always be my first love.  At the same time, there is so much more to my life and personality than just my study of scriptures.  One thing I know that will happen is that I will talk more about the books I read and want to share.  I will also talk about the joys and struggles of writing a book.  I will also begin to try to be more vulnerable and share the things I am thinking on. I will be sharing what God shows me about myself, about Him, and about the world around me.  It is my hope that by opening the blog up a bit more I will find I can get back to writing weekly. I make no promises, though.  Some days it is a challenge just to keep my word count goals toward the book.

I would love to hear how you prepare for the New Year.

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9 thoughts on “Looking Forward to 2017

  1. Thanks for sharing this. I love your “Let Go” goal and your main points totally resonate with me.
    of my need for Control
    of my expectations and plans
    of the old way of looking at things
    of my need for approval
    of thinking, I know anything about what God is doing
    of living my life compartmentalized
    Somehow, God help us hand over the baggage before we start piling it up on our backs again.
    Many warm greetings, and hoping to find my word, or 12 words (one for each month!) swiftly!
    😉 ❤
    Jasmine

  2. Hi Deanna,
    I’m visiting from Coffee for your Heart. I love your heartfelt words about your journey from last year to this one! I think Let Go is an awfully brave concept and I can relate since I like to control things in my little world and I think I know what God is doing, only to see that he wants us to know him and trust him more than he wants us to figure out our futures. Happy 2017 to you!

  3. Hi Deanna, thanks for visiting my one word post. I really enjoyed reading more about your choice of “Let go” as well as your reflections on 2016. I expect letting go will be challenging at times, but I’m also sure you’re in for an amazing year of growth. I found that last year with my word “surrender”. There definitely is a new freedom when we manage to hand it over to God (and although I have a new word this year, surrender is definitely an on-going process.)

    1. I figure that it will be challenging and it already has all the appearances that it will be. Still I chose the word the Lord gave me. I did a year on Submission a few years back and it was challenging also but such amazing growth comes from the challenges. I don’t think that I have ever stopped with that word.

  4. I have had Letting Go as my word/phrase before. It was a challenging year, yet a year where I grew so much. God has much in store for you with this word. May you have blessings as you pursue HIM through this.

    1. It already has all the appearances of being a Challenging year. However I expected nothing less when I realized the word that the Lord was giving me. I did a year on Submission a few years back so I knew what it might look like to choose a hard word.

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