One by one I erase the items off of my to-do list, each time my eraser slides across the marker on my white board a sense of satisfaction momentarily embraces me. The embrace is short and quick lived as I inevitably make eye contact with the one item I haven’t been able to erase yet; this item has been on my white board for weeks, and time after time I bump it to the next week.
What is this seemingly dreadful task you ask?
Yup, it’s writing this blog post about my intentions for 2019.
Not only did I absolute dread the idea of writing, but I also had no clue what to set as my intentions.
Let me explain this really quick:
Before Christmas I had desperately needed a break from writing. My passion and my creative energy were dwindling at a frightful speed. Honestly, writing was becoming a chore filled with trepidation—it was no longer an enjoyable way for me to pass my time.
As difficult as it was for me to take a step back I knew that I needed to take time to refocus, re-energize, and rest.
So that is exactly what I did! I felt a huge burden lift off of me and for a few days it was pure bliss. However, as the days went by I allowed fear and doubt to creep back into my heart. I began to convince myself that I shouldn’t write anymore. As more time passed the mere thought of writing caused every cell in my body to cringe in fear. Rather than live in fear and self-doubt I allowed my emotions to slowly melt into apathy.
Currently I am sprawled out on my living room floor as I write this. I was honestly worried that this moment would never come and I would never get around to writing this, but here I am.
Earlier today it felt as though God has reached down into my soul and suddenly switched all of the lights back on. Although it started as just a faint flickering flame inside my chest, it quickly became a burning wildfire of desire to create, write, and build something for myself. The clarity that had eluded me for the past few weeks was once again growing within my mind like a wild vine.
For the first time in weeks I felt certain.
I mean, honestly, the past few weeks were shrouded with doubt in regards to things that had once seemed clear as water.
I began to panic: what if there had been some sort of major misunderstanding between God and I? After months of prayer and uncertainty I had felt so confident that God had been leading me to write a blog. What if I was wrong? What if God had changed his mind? Maybe he realizes now that I was the wrong person for the job? Maybe I’m not doing enough… maybe I am doing too much? What if I had done this differently? Maybe….maybe… maybe…
I quickly began to lose trust in God’s plan, his control, and his sovereignty; because why wasn’t I feeling confident or sure; why wasn’t I seeing progress how I wanted. I also lost trust in myself, I felt that I was no longer (if I was ever) competent. As I mentioned before, I didn’t want to feel these emotions anymore, so I slowly allowed apathy to take over.
This apathy was something I have decided to call “anxious apathy”. Anxious apathy is where I try not to care about anything while at the same time trying to control everything. If this sounds like a confusing mess to you, then let me assure you that indeed, it is a total mess. I struggled to try control every aspect of my life while at the same time trying to not invest emotionally in any plans, hopes, or dreams.
I tossed and turned between worrying about “what next” and “who cares”.
These past weeks of taking a step back from writing were necessary; however my worry, doubt, fear, and anxious apathy were not. I felt as though I needed rest, but while I was resting I did not believe God was working. I felt that if I wasn’t doing something then nothing in my life was moving forward. I lacked trust in God’s plan and I forgot that I am not in control.
God will work on my behalf while I rest. He is the one who makes all things happen, not me, and I often lose sight of that.
Rest is essential, but the other piece that is necessary is trusting completely in God’s plan. This is something I struggle with! I hate relinquishing control, because I feel like I know what is best (BUT I OBVIOUSLY DON’T).
I began to realize that this need for control and this whole lack-of-trust thing is not a one-time thing! It has been a consistent thread throughout my life. I hate resting and waiting for God’s perfect timing and plan. I worry and stop trusting God when I don’t immediately see the results I want. I would rather rush ahead into something than trust God to come through.
I am sure that you can already tell that I am a bit of an impatient control freak. Yea, well truth be told I actually didn’t come to that realization until recently (woops).
With this realization in mind I prayed for God to guide me in setting my intentions for 2019. The word he placed on my heart, the word that is surely going to challenge me, the word that I must be intent on doing in 2019 is surrender.
Surrender control, surrender pride, surrender my own notions and societal ideals of what success looks like, surrender the pressure I put on myself, surrender my already formed “no’s”, surrender my comfort zone, surrender what I think my life should look like and replace it with what God wants, and surrender my burdens. Honestly, just surrender it all to Jesus.
Jesus came and died to carry my burdens and HE is sovereign—not me. Therefore I should not attempt to withhold anything from him; I need to surrender it all. Although I know this will not be an easy thing for me to carry out, I do believe that I must be intentional about setting forth and surrendering in the coming year.
So here I stand: staring down 2019 with an eager heart wilding waving a white flag of surrender.
After I set “surrender” as my word for 2019 I decided to find some bible verses to go with that word. I found countless verses and I wrote down around 15 of them, however I will only share a few you with.
“I have chosen to be faithful; I have determined to live by your regulations.” Psalms 119:30
“And He did rescue us from mortal danger, and He will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in Him, and He will continue to rescue us.” 2 Corinthians 1:10
“For I know the plans I have for you” says the Lord, “they are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11