In years past, January 1st often found me committing to a resolution which would be impossible to carry out. Most of these resolutions represented unrest with my weight, body image or perfectionism. None of my resolutions fell into the “attainable, realistic” category. All of them left me feeling discouraged, not good enough and like a failure.
Perhaps it’s age and time that takes us to a place where change has deeper meaning…
Perhaps it’s the burden of past heartaches and turmoil giving way to enlightenment…
I no longer set out to accomplish resolutions or goals that take on the check-list mentality. I don’t set out to count calories, weigh myself daily, or workout a certain number of times per week. Although these actions can be powerful, even helpful, in executing a healthy life-style for many… these do not get to the heart of change for me.
I’ve come to realize my battles with body image, with food and even with my purpose in this life always indicate deeper roots. My weight, appearance, career path, successes… I’m learning have more to do with giving control over to God, my spiritual identity in Christ and my ability to extend grace and kindness to myself – over and over again if need be.
God has turned my definition of change upside down. It’s no longer about the superficial worries of my past. It’s about my heart being willing to reflect His.
I have a fire burning within me, longing for deeper, authentic change in my heart. I want to go into the scary, sometimes dark places that ache inside. The caverns hidden away because of my shame. The parts making me human.
Because it has been in facing my fears, in bravely going to the scariest places in my soul, where I have seen God prove the most real. The most un-plastic. The most loving.
My old check-list resolutions used to keep me stuck. Used to keep me defeated. My old check-list resolutions have always lacked two things:
- Starting Over. Check-list resolutions and goals leave no room for grace, starting over, or being kind to yourself. No matter what we set out to do, we will never accomplish perfection because we are human. We can begin to breathe and find ourselves a little less stuck when we can extend to ourselves a chance to start over. A writer whom I love, Leeana Tankersley, recently wrote on this very topic – the power of allowing yourself new beginnings. I also love Lamentations 3:22-23 for this very reason, “The Lord’s loving kindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”
- Anything. Check-list resolutions keep our hands grasped on to control rather than keeping an open palm stance before the Lord. I recently wrote a bit about keeping open palms before the Lord. If change is about our hearts reflecting Christ’s, then we must be willing to keep open palms and lean into saying “I’ll do anything Lord”. A dear friend of mine recently recommended that I read Anything by Jennie Allen. Little did I know this book is exactly what the Lord has been stirring in the hearts of my husband and I. Saying, “anything Lord” is what I want my heart to be practicing.
My 2013 is about throwing out the superficial, the defeat, the feeling of stuck. Instead, I want 2013 to reflect extending God’s grace to myself in the starting over and to reflect keeping my heart and my palms open to His anything.
What do your 2013 desires look like? Does it include extending grace to yourself? Or keeping an open heart before the Lord?
© 2012 Standing on Peace