Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Expect Great Things



by Jebraun Clifford

2017 is here!
Another year. 
A fresh beginning. 
A clean start. 

To adapt a quote from Anne Shirley: isn't it nice to think we have 365 new days with no mistakes in them yet?


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In many ways, 2016 was a good year for me. While I don't usually make resolutions, I've developed the habit of choosing one word to reflect my hopes and longings for the year. I don't see the full implications of the word until the year closes and--looking back--I'm usually amazed at the results. 

Last year's word was 'thrive' and it proved to be an apt description. Amazing things happened--many unexpected--and I witnessed firsthand the blessings of God in a way I've never experienced before. 

But I've also been challenged in the last few months, losing sight of many victories as an old enemy named Fear tried to dominate my thoughts. I became overwhelmed with mistakes (real and imagined) I've made and couldn't see a way forward. It was awful! I got so consumed with the things I'd done wrong, with my mistakes, with things I wished I'd done differently, that I lost motivation in many areas of my life. However, I finally feel like I'm starting to climb out of the paralyzing pit of despair that had gripped me.


via GIPHY
I'd rather not dwell on what got me there in the first place but want to focus on what got me out.

The short version is I remembered the goodness of God. He's been soooo faithful to me through my whole life, but I somehow forgot that He will be in my future too. And not simply in my future as a passive bystander, but actively making it bigger and better and brighter.

One of my favourite verses from Psalm 27:13 reminds me of this exact truth.
I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
This tells me that God doesn't confine Himself to making things good somewhere out in the nebulous future we sometimes call 'heaven.' Nope. God is in the here and the now and is causing all things to work together for good and if it isn't good yet, well...it isn't over.

As I reflected on this bold declaration earlier this week, I had to tell myself (again!) that the future is not something to dread, but rather something to embrace.  

And so I've found my word for 2017:

Expect.

This doesn't mean I'm projecting unrealistic expectations on myself or on others. No, I'm finished with that sort of thing. Instead it means I have a hopeful optimism for what will happen. I'm not going to live in fear of the future, I don't want my joy to be stolen away by the unknown. I'm going to expect the goodness of the Lord to go before me into the new year and beyond.

Happy New Year from all of us at Quills and Inkblotts. It's going to be a great one!







What about you? Do you make New Year's resolutions? Write down goals? Choose one word? Let us know in the comments below! We love hearing from you.

5 comments:

  1. I identified with what you wrote Jebraun. 2016 for me was one of blessed surprises. I grieved and repented from known mistakes and I'm quite glad the year is behind me. My word for 2016 was CHANGE. Change came and went for certain. This year's word is GROWTH. It has only been four days into 2017 and already God has shifted some paradigms. I have also been reminded that He has not given me a spirit of fear but of power and love and a sound mind. Thanks for the encouragement. Stay blessed!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Antonia, I'm excited about 2017!

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    2. Oooh, GROWTH is a good one! Keep moving forward <3

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  2. Love that word! Mine is connect.

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    1. I like it! Reminds me that we're not alone in this pursuit called life!

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