I wrote back in the fall about how I felt like I was in a fog. I felt like I was in the thick of a season of darkness I couldn't quite name or explain, but it left me feeling depressed, defeated, and discouraged. It was an awful place to be, and I really struggled with it. I shut everyone out and kept to myself, which didn't help at all. Over time, with lots of prayer, and writing to process, and reading really helpful books and a lot of Psalms, I started to feel the fog lifting a bit.
An important person entered the scene in late November, and my attention shifted away from focusing on self-improvement and pressing into my time with the Lord to move more toward this new relationship, and it's been a struggle to get back to a healthy balance in recent weeks as a result, if I'm being totally honest.
So. When I started thinking about words for 2017, when I looked around at the things in my life that I was happy with, that I felt unsettled about, that I was wrestling with and working through, the things I was celebrating and proud of, I realized what I really wanted more out of in this next year was CLARITY.
I'll turn 25 in 2017, and that feels big. It feels solid. It feels like I should really have my ish figured out, like I really should know who I am and who I want to be, like I should feel good about my life.
But all of that? It requires clarity.
I want to enter 2017 (and start 25) with clear eyes and a full heart... then I can't lose. (If you don't get that FNL reference.... I don't know if we can be friends. ha!)
I want to soul-search in 2017 (more than I already do). I want to seek clarity in all areas of my life, want to seek simplicity, want to pursue intentionality.
I want to actually set clear goals for myself. (Finally ordered my first set of PowerSheets and I'm so curious to see how that goes!)
I want to be intentional, prayerful, committed, and consistent in my time with God. I want Him to be the clear priority above everything else in my life.
I want to read the Word daily so His words cut through the fog and are etched onto my heart and my mind.
I want to ask hard questions and answer hard ones of myself, too. I want to lean into the hard conversations, knowing they'll unlock new things in me.
I want to push forward into new spaces, and I want to dig down into new depths, knowing what I'm striving for and feeling confident in the process.
I want to seek clarity in my relationships -- are they life-giving? Are they fulfilling or draining? Are they one-sided or well-balanced? Am I reaching out and being intentional and purposeful with others who matter to me? Am I speaking truth into my relationships and are others holding me accountable as well?
I want to clarify my spending habits and align them better with my priorities in life.
I want to clarify my eating habits-- just because I'm vegan and gluten-free doesn't mean that I'm eating consistently healthy and nutritious food, and I want to find better rhythms with my meal prep and cooking.
I want to seek clarity when it comes to my emotions and feelings, not to let them run rampant or control me, but to get to the root of them so I can understand and work through them in healthy and productive ways.
In all things.
My goals for 2017 look a lot like trying to be more like Him.
I want to clear the clutter, get back to the basics, dig deep, stretch, grow, and simplify, all in efforts to have greater clarity about who I am in Him and about what He has for me.
I want to keep this in mind in this coming year as I strive toward these goals:
Lord, my prayer for 2017 focuses on clarity. I want to clear the messes out of the way so I can see You better, hear You better, follow You better. I want to grow into more of the person You designed me to be and desire me to be. I want to be characterized by the fruits of the Spirit, and Lord, you know how far I have to go in that journey... May this be a year that is covered in grace, a year that I learn how to be more forgiving of myself and others, a year that I pursue patience and mercy as guiding forces. Open my eyes to Your will for my life. Open my heart to Your stirrings. Open my hands that they might live in a state of holy surrender to You. Open my mind to new ideas, to new thoughts, to new perspectives. Even when it hurts, I pray that You'll do the hard and messy work of refining me and purifying me. Even when it's hard, may I praise You. Even when I can't see what You're doing, even if clarity never comes, may I trust You in all things, knowing You are always and only good. May I exist for Your glory alone, and may You receive all honor and praise in this coming year. Your will be done, Jesus. Amen.
May I live 2017 God's way.
May I seek Him clearly, intentionally, whole-heartedly.
May everything else fall into its rightful place with Him as my priority first and foremost.
May the rhythms I've built throughout 2016 be a strong foundation of my life as I seek clarity in all things.