So, there appear to be two polarized factions on social media this January.
I had never noticed it before, but this year, New Year’s rolled around and BAM! I was scrolling and seeing all of these conflicting messages from what appear to be two different types of people with strong feelings about New Year’s resolutions. Have you met these two groups?
Group One: the entrepreneurs, goal casters and influencers (which is a crap-tastic made up title. It is not a real job, nor is it a real thing, and tends to involve lots of photoshopped people in spandex, but…I digress).
Group One has their resolutions planned in early December for the crack of New Years. By 12:01am on January 1st, they are already 30% into their resolutions list. They tend to be loud and peppy….like you have turn their Instagram stories DOWN because they’re shouting at you. They choose words for the year (which is actually a good idea), post a lot of quotes, and then promo something like a coffee cleanse. And by January 15th, they’re still talking about New Year’s resolutions and how 2019 is going ‘so much more boss’ than 2018.
Group Two finds the whole concept of resolutions stressful and would prefer to sit back and see if 2019 magically ends up happier and more wholesome than the previous year. They may do a mid-year self-check in June, just to see if they need to….I dunno….do anything different. They make a resolution to not make a resolution. As if growth of any kind can come from just sitting still.
The thing that I find amazing is that by the end of 2019, these two groups of people will both say the same thing as they roll into 2020: this next year will be my year. DUDE! What was this one but a lot of hype (or purposeful non-hype for my Group Two’s).
Ya’ll, I have no cleanses to push on you. I am not posting photos of me in spandex, thank You Jesus. I am not going to use catchy slogans or give you 10% off of anything if you use my name, but I will tell you this: I am resolved to grow regardless of the year.
There it is, I said it. Do you remember when we were kids and the growing pains started in our legs. Nine-year-old you would be lying in bed, and all of sudden your bones ached to the marrow. It was the worst thing that had ever happened to your in your nine years, but after a season of pain and stretching, you would begin to see the results of that growth as you suddenly could look your mom in the eye.
How about at the gym? You know, that place that’s gonna be crowded for the next 26 days, and then it will go back to normal. Any new exercise regimen just sucks at first. Everything hurts, you’re sweating when you’re not used to sweating in places you didn’t know you even could sweat. The free weights are intimidating and the influencers are all in their spandex using selfie sticks to shoot workout videos from angles where you should never be taking no photos of nothing (#fixitLord). Bottom line - it isn’t fun! But then, if you stay with the growth…one day, you notice there is some definition in your legs that wasn’t there before. The next day, you realize your shoulders are looking good, and you slowly start to reap the benefits of the growth.
Growth is work. Growth takes faith. Growth is nasty, sweaty and painful but growth is worth it because the antithesis of growth is stagnation. Last time I checked, God didn’t make people to be stagnant their whole lives….even the rocks He created change with time, pressure, and environment. You weren’t meant to ‘just get by’ or ‘just be comfortable’. There is more!
I’d like to submit to you that there is a third group. The Set-Goals-Work-Hard-Then-Give’em-to-God group. Yes, I think I like this one, and you don’t have to wear spandex here. No hashtags needed, photoshop, or cheerleader-esque peppiness cause I’m an INFJ and if you try to make me cheer I’m going to take my enthusiasm and sit quietly in the corner until everyone calms down. Not in Group Three. You can participate without even telling us what your goals are! You can just get to it!
I did set resolutions this year, as I do every year, but this is a little different.
In 2018, God set me free from a lot of BIG junk that was holding me down, and we aren’t done. He tested and pushed me in ways I didn’t know I could be pushed, even to the point of near-failure. There were so many moments where I was panic-stricken, watching my 2018 goals slip out of my hands with only His promise in my heart: ‘It’s ok. There is more. Trust Me, girl.’ If I had relied on my determination, drive, or ability to be a #BossBabe I would have been so devastated when things didn’t work out. I would have been even more devastated if I never even tried.
Everything I have has come from His hand. Man makes his ways, but God directs His path. At the end of 2018 I was left holding things that I never would have asked for, but I couldn’t have imagined how beautiful they would turn out to be. Time and time again, He placed something in my hands and all I could say was ‘Wow…You know better than I do, Father.’
If anything, 2019 is a year to focus on believing the things He says about me, and stepping into them with two eyeballs fixed solely on Him. I can set goals until I’m worked into an anxious, striving mess. OR I can surrender them, work hard at what is right in front of me with all my best effort, and trust that He does not hold ONE. GOOD. THING. back from those who love Him and are called according to His will.
And let’s have some fun with it! I created a bulletin board with my goals written on them; that is still a good thing to do. On the back of each of those goal cards, there is a prize…because I’m actually 12-years-old. Some of those goals make my heart just pound, but the prizes on the back make it pound harder. I can envision the growth (as far as my limited human imagination can imagine such things), and I can also envision the rewards.
At the end of it all, though….it’s God’s plan (sorry, Drake. I’m stealing that). SO I’ll raise my glass of non-alcoholic bubbly, and cheers to God’s Plan, Provision, Placement, and Promises in 2019.