This is the word whispered on my heart as the year draws to a close.
Entitlement filled my heart at the beginning of 2017. Not intentionally, mind you. I didn’t even recognize the prideful undercurrent as I declared my hope: This will be a great year. We deserve it!
In that moment, as I spoke those words, I believed I deserved a break. We – my family – deserved a break. The previous year we moved, grieved our loss of community, and attempted to adjust to our new environment. As I reflected on all that 2016 threw our way, I declared my intention for 2017.
January, February, and most of March lived up to the standard I set. I obediently worked on and completed the first draft of a manuscript God put on my heart. My children were making connections at school and getting involved in activities. My husband loved his job and found fulfillment through his work. I signed up to attend a writer’s conference and requested an appointment with a publisher. Life was good.
Until it wasn’t.
The sudden, unexpected death of my mother in law rocked our world. She left this world instantly. None of us had the opportunity to tell her goodbye. In a split second, good went out the window. Numbness took over. We were shocked, confused, and left questioning why? Our lives were forever changed on March 30, 2017 when God called her home.
Her death humbled me. I am not in control of anything. I don’t deserve anything. It is only by the grace of God I am here, and my life will be but a vapor.
A few weeks after Lorrie passed, one of my sweet friends lost her father in law. Then another friend lost her mom. And another friend lost her husband. Another, her daughter. This year will forever be stained with sadness for so many people.
Again, the losses of others humbled me. No amount of praying could change God’s ultimate plan.
Pride has a variety of appearances. Arrogance may be the celebrity figure of pride, but there are forms.
The biggest fear of mine with writing? Fear of rejection, rooted in pride: I want people to like and accept me.
My focus the past few months? Platform building, because that is what the industry tells me I must do. I control it, they say. There is an element of pride lurking underneath my actions.
I am again going to declare 2018 will be a great year, but not because I deserve it. It will be a great year because I am giving God my full trust. I will humbly accept every circumstance tossed my way in 2018. I will trust God no matter what.
Through the difficulties of the past year, I recognize more than ever I need Jesus. Despite my prideful declarations and actions, He met me in my kitchen when I fell to my knees and cried out. He met me in the quiet moments when I couldn’t breathe. He met me in my sorrow, and He met me when I finally felt joy again. He never left me.
In 2018, I will be focusing on humility. One aspect of this is to surrender what I want to do and obey what God wants me to do. For now, He is calling me to be still. I will not be blogging in January. God has directed me to do a few things quietly.
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What one word sums up your year? I would love to hear from you!
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