Once a year, I sit down and read my entire year’s worth of journals. I write every day, so it takes me awhile. Like five or six hours. And it always fascinates me to see themes rise to the surface. It’s one thing to walk through each day, to record it, to think you know what you’re feeling or thinking at any given time, but to sit back and look at the whole can be a bit…humbling, overwhelming, fascinating.
I had a year filled with circumstantial goodness. I was asked to fly to California to speak to an incredible group of women. I led a team of women to Liberia. My third book came out. I began writing my fifth, a novel. I took several fun girlfriend trips. I got my kids going in middle school. I twirled around in the snow on Christmas night. Stuff like that. Good, good stuff like that. And in those moments, I lived them. Truly lived in them. I felt the joy. I wept with happiness when I held my book in my hands. I danced with abandon with my friends in Africa. I took it all in.
And yet, my journals told a different story. Because my journals track my inner world. And my inner world this year was heavy with sadness. In and of itself, that’s okay with me. I no longer see sad as bad and happy as good, across the board. A feeling is a feeling. Plus, I think it’s safe to say that I just might fall into the melancholy side of things, personality-wise. So if I say I had a circumstantially good year and yet an emotionally sad one, that doesn’t surprise me all that much. (Especially because I know that the sadness is not a lack of gratitude…if that were the case, I’d be really upset with myself, but I know it’s not…)
And yet, I don’t want to be known for sadness. Even if the only two who know about it are me and Jesus. So I took stock, as I do each year, and I looked ahead and did some planning, as I do each year. And this year, in addition to some goals and such, I made a ‘who I want to be list’. And this is, in part, what I came up with.
I want God’s joy to overcome my sadness.
I Peter 4:13 Rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.
I want God’s gentleness to overcome my anger.
Philippians 4:5 Let your gentleness be evident to all; the Lord is near.
I want God’s presence to be enough for me.
Psalm 4:7 I have God’s more-than-enough, more joy in one ordinary day.
I want to expect miracles over my family.
Deuteronomy 7:9 Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; He is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep his commands.
I want to walk in forgiveness.
Matthew 6:14 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you.
I want my well-being and life to be defined by Christ, not by anyone else’s choices.
I Corinthians 7:18 God defines your life.
I want to walk in freedom.
John 8:36 So if the Son sets you free, you are free indeed.
Tall order.But I’ve got a big God.Happy New Year.
If this post helped you, I would encourage you to check out “Surviving in a Difficult Christian Marriage”, found here.