There’s nothing quite like the feeling of turning the calendar to January 1st. The beginning of a new year is a special time; it provides the opportunity to reflect on the year that has passed and to prepare for the year ahead. It is a time of introspection and great hope, and those two things should not be taken for granted. However, something felt really off as 2021 came to a close. All I could think to myself is ‘I’m not ready.’ I wasn’t ready to turn 25 just a few weeks ago, I’m not ready to make plans and goals and to pursue all my crazy dreams – I’m just not ready for any of it. Yet here we are, almost two weeks into 2022 and there was nothing I could do to stop time and prepare myself for it.
How did we get here? I’ve been asking myself that question every single day of 2022 so far.
I’m not sure if anyone else has had a similar feeling as we entered the new year. I feel like 2021 was such a blur; every month sped by so quickly that when I look back I can’t even seem to remember the major events of the year. It was a whole 365 days, yet I feel like nothing really happened, and everything that did could have fit into 10 days and not 365! I can’t even count the number of times I had to self-isolate, plus the months and months of being in lockdowns, whether in Sydney or in Canberra. Now here I am, writing this blog post while in self-isolation yet again. I’m in the exact same position I was in at this time in 2021, although this time I actually have COVID! It’s kind of ironic really – the introverted homebody that has like 3 friends got COVID through socialising. What a time to be alive, truly. Sometimes I feel like we are all in a movie; is this really what life has become? I don’t want it to be. I really want 2022 to be different. I want a year full of adventures and so many great memories that I can’t fathom how they fit into a mere 365 days. I guess I can dream…
I had a lot of plans for 2022, and this blog was only the beginning of it. I finally felt ready to really grow and challenge myself in all areas of my life; in mind, body, spirit, and everything in between. I’m a big planner and goal-orientated person. I always have a long list of plans and goals for the new year, and this year was no different. I had all the usual things on the list, like reading my bible every day, reading more books and going to the gym at least 3 times a week (lol rip all the money spent on my unused gym membership). This year also saw some new contenders on the list, including facing my anxiety and finally getting my driver’s license (yes, I am 25 and still don’t know how to drive hehe oops) and going on more solo adventures despite the anxiety and awkwardness I feel when going to new places alone. I was proud of my list and I felt ready to conquer every single thing on it, despite never having actually done so in my whole 25 years of existence. This year was the year it would happen, I could feel it! Yet as I came to write this blog post a couple of weeks ago in the very planned and structured way I had organised it in my mind, it just didn’t feel right.
I’ve rewritten this post at least 5 or 6 times now, trying to make it fit into this box I had constructed for my year. The year I finally felt ready to do everything I have ever wanted to do. 2022 was my year – the year of becoming. The more and more I wrote and rewrote, the more I realised how wrong I was. I wasn’t ready and I never would be ready, but more than that, this whole list of plans and goals meant nothing if it wasn’t what God wanted my 2022 to be.
I had the revelation while starting from scratch for the 475349th time. This year wasn’t going to be about me and all my plans, it was going to be about God and all His plans for me. My biggest challenge for 2022 wasn’t to face my anxieties and get my license or go to new places alone, it was to stop and really listen to His voice rather than micromanage every aspect of my life. It was a terrifying realisation, but it finally felt right. So here I am writing this post, hopefully for the last time, while holding to the truth that He has plans for me – plans to prosper me, to give me hope and a future.
My friend randomly sharedIsaiah 43:18-19 with me just a couple of days ago after my big realisation. It really spoke to me and provided the needed confirmation that this year was a year for new things and that those things were in His control. Sometimes we don’t even perceive what He is doing in our lives, but He is there, making a way no matter what obstacles we may be facing. Our past shouldn’t hold us back, He has already delivered us and is making all things new. He is the way when we feel lost and confused and He will sustain us when nothing else will.
18 “Remember not the former things,
nor consider the things of old.
19 Behold, I am doing a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert.Isaiah 43:18-19
This year, I’m not going to try to squeeze myself into the little box that I’ve constructed for myself. Instead, I’m going to trust and learn to expand and fill the one that He has placed me in. The only thing I really need on my list of new year’s resolutions is to trust in Him and His plan for my life and to be obedient to where He is leading me. From there, everything will happen exactly how it is supposed to. My past failures and mistakes don’t matter, nor do my past successes and victories. Those things won’t come forward with me into 2022 – my failures won’t paralyse me and my victories won’t sustain me – because He is doing a new thing and He is the only one in control of it all.
Don’t get me wrong, I still think it is important to have dreams and goals for your future. I still have a lot of things I want to accomplish this year, and I still plan to make purposeful changes to the way I currently live to continue becoming my best self every single day. I am not saying I won’t achieve the things I originally had on my list and that you shouldn’t pursue your goals either, I just don’t think it should be the main focus. We should not be discouraged if our plans fall through because ultimately He is in control. If it is His will He will make a way and sustain us through whatever obstacles we may face in the year ahead. Our plans ultimately don’t matter if they are not aligned with His plans. We shouldn’t limit ourselves to a list of things we may or may not accomplish and miss all the things He is doing in our lives and places He is leading us.
My hope for everyone this year is to listen, trust and be obedient to Him and His call for your life. Pursue all your dreams and goals and do all the crazy things you feel called to do, but don’t forget who is ultimately in control. Your failures won’t stop you and your successes won’t sustain you. Fix your eyes on Jesus and let Him lead you. Let Him fill the box that He has created for you, and stop trying to squeeze yourself into the one that you have created for yourself.
Until next time,