Each new year I am drawn to set aside time to review the past year of my life and consider what needs changing or improvement. We’ve probably all gotten excited about embracing new goals for the year, hoping for some kind of fantastic transformation in our lives. Yet growing and changing in a meaningful, sustained way is hard, and is one of the greatest challenges we human beings can face.
Whenever we choose to become more of who God has called us to be, we enter a sacred ground and a battleground. Choosing to change is sacred because we are embracing the call to mature in the Lord. I believe God is pleased with us when we seek to change in ways that are meant to honor Him. And it is a battle because simply choosing to be different doesn’t remove the power of sin or decades of bad habits and experiences.
How can I set myself up for a slightly better version of me in 2019?
1. Sit down. Look for pockets of time to sit and listen to the Holy Spirit whispering, “Come, sit with me and let’s work on you.” I must actively make room for the Holy Spirit to do what He does best: guide me into truth. John 16:13
2. Read. The Bible and Spirit of Prophecy books are super valuable to help us grow and live richer lives. God can recreate our minds and desires through His word.
3. Pray with a pen. Write down thoughts while contemplating and listening for God’s answers. Initial questions to ponder may be, “What did I accomplish in 2018? Have I made a difference in specific people’s lives? God, how do you want me to grow in 2019?”
4. Be compassionate and patient with myself. Slow change is often seen as failure, but true transformation takes time. Farmers don’t put a seed in the ground and expect to eat fruit the next day. In time, by God’s grace, the reality of setbacks and failures will have less and less power to hold us down.
God desires our transformation and is orchestrating circumstances, relationships, and even ordinary moments to further His purposes in my life and yours. Let’s honor God’s nudges to grow as we set goals for the new year. Lord willing, at the end of 2019 you and I will undeniably be a slightly better version of “me,” and in that sense, be a little more like Jesus.
Juanita Edge, Communication Director