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It’s a New Year and as usual all the hype is out and in our faces. I am not a hype hater, just like everyone it gives me some beginning momentum to jump start things that seem to so easily get placed on the shelf as past years have rolled by. I have been thinking what some may say is on a more introspect level as this year has come. We can make our lists of things we want to resolve this year and do very well the first few months (I usually last Jan and Feb and I’m over it.) So what are the things that will help us not just jump on and fall off the bandwagon of the New Year’s hype. Keep in mind these are coming from a more introspect view.

We can talk about looks and weight and outer circumstance all day long and how we desire to have better circumstances when it comes to those things. We can even make it spiritual and say that we want to go deeper into God’s calling for our lives.

I think for someone like myself that always resolves to do all this great sounding things starting every new year, I had to stop and ask some deeper questions. Questions like, “why do I make the same goals every year?”, ” Why can’t I keep the goals I have made?”. Questions like this spurred me onto asking other questions that made me have to look deeper than just my outer appearance. I had to face myself for what was really there beyond just what I see in the mirror. We only see a fraction of what is really going on when we look in the mirror. We see the outer manifestations of what is/has taken place in the inward part of who we are. This is why we should see ourselves as a triune being. Our thoughts and spirit play into our body. As well as how our body feels and our thoughts play into how we are spiritually.

So why is it so hard for one to keep these hyped up goals for the new year?  Some would say that you’re focusing on the wrong thing. I don’t agree entirely with that idea. I think that we are a three part being: soul, spirit, body. What I do think is that as a culture we can tend to focus on just one of these things at a time. We act like we are great multitaskers. Don’t believe me? We have conversations with our friends or family all while holding our smart phones as we connect with the world as well. I will pause there as I am convicting myself with the last sentence. Truth be told we are usually not balanced in how we operate within our lives. I think they all go hand in hand. They are all connected and if we are lacking in one area than truthfully we are lacking in all 3. To live a life of fullness and wholeness all 3 must be acting in harmony. It’s what many would call a “struggle street” but I believe with grace and vulnerability as well as knowing the Father’s love for us as his child we can make progress and gain victory.

I will use myself to show you such. I can resolve to make all these great new years goals about weight and being healthy. I can preach to myself about a healthy lifestyle. I need to be healthy as I desire to live a long life that satisfies the Lord and being able to go into the ends of the Earth. Preach… Preach… Blah…Blah… Truth is I get so focused on the physical aspects of my life that I tend to place the other things on the back burner. I will then have a moment where I will realize in some way that I feel completely dry and even at times feel far from the Lord. I will step back and look at the thoughts that are flooding through my mind and realize that they are toxic and I am partnering with lies that are screaming at me. I have been telling myself that I will prove these lies wrong by working out more, and there I am stuck in a vicious cycle. Maybe I’m alone in this battle that never seems to want to lose it’s grip over me. Maybe you are with me and screaming “Thank God I’m not alone!”

Last year starting 2015 I resolved to try to be balanced in all 3 of these areas. In the eyes of a culture that screams success is found in physical outer appearance, I failed. I started off very well, partially because I lived overseas in 2014 and well let’s face it when your 2 legs are your only way of transport and its over 100 degrees with 90%+ humidity it doesn’t take much to melt away your water weight. I didn’t end very well as far as numbers go. I actually gained weight and fought many months with lies about weight and looks in 2015. Mid year I even went so far as to begin taking a high dosage of meds that eventually caused me to not be myself and not be able to sleep even. This was a part of the vicious cycle I was on last year. I recall having that moment while trying to sleep and crying out to the Lord for his help. And it hit me like a ton of bricks, I had lost balance and I was partnering with lies of all sorts and I was to shameful to share those lies with even my closest friends. See when it comes to weight I haven’t really ever succeeded. I have had amazing results and for seasons felt great but haven’t yet conquered a lifestyle of health and wholeness. I knew that there was a lot going on inside of me that was hindering me from growing in this area. I looked within and had to face myself and a lot of disappointment in this area. I was that kid growing up that as long as I was active I could eat anything I wanted. After high school, I fell into a deep depression over how I felt. School being over I wasn’t as active and I began to see weight pile up in places I hadn’t noticed before. I ran to quick fixes, and got quick results with a short lived victory. This has been my story and at times I still think I am facing that young girl that wants to just do a quick fix and get some compliments and then go back to eating whatever I want. As I have lived a little more than that 18 year old girl had, I know that quick fixes aren’t the answer. The answer is way deeper than a quick fix. It is hidden in the different facets of God’s heart for me. As I live my life with Him and for Him, he is constantly pursuing my heart and from there the issues of life flow. So as I allow Him to invade my heart including all the hard parts that feel disappointed and hopeless, He breathes light into those dark places. It is easy to desire quick fixes in any area of our life as we are surrounded with convenience in the 1st world. Truth is we must desire long lasting life changes rather than the quick fixes. I desire to be healthy in all areas of my life: spirit, mind, and body. There isn’t one greater than the other. There are many things I could say here but for now here is a list of things that will help you in your journey as we begin this new year.

  1. You have never been in this place of life before. You may feel like you’re in a familiar place or situation but you aren’t who you used to be, not even in 2015. Give yourself grace.
  2. Don’t aim for perfection. Perfection isn’t attainable. Success isn’t measured by it. Plus, no one likes someone who thinks they are perfect.
  3. Risk. Take risks and face the fears that have kept you in the years past. Nothing is going to happen outside of taking a risk. You can play it safe all you want but that will never bring about your full potential. Risk your pride and your fears to challenge yourself to become great. We always read stories about others risking it, so let’s write our own.
  4. People. You need people surrounding you. We weren’t made to do this life alone. Work on creating relationships that are real and loving. Healthy relationships that will call you higher into God’s heart for you. Cultivate relationships that you can be honest and real and still be loved like Jesus would love you. This takes time and intention with people but it is needed and will help you grow in all areas. ( I have 4 people that I will not allow myself to hide from. They see it all and they are able to love me into truth. It took vulnerability and time to feel safe enough with them to share no matter what is going on. They love me like Jesus and don’t allow me to hide in shame fear or control)
  5. Laugh more. As I get older and grow closer to God I learn that life isn’t as serious as we want to make it to be. Laugh more and let go more. Let go of all the pressure and learn to breathe and relax with those you love.

Feel free to add more to the list and let me know!

I am just one story but I believe that we all have a story and that it’s worthy to be heard. Your story isn’t over yet so don’t give up. Your story could sound completely different than mine and God could be showing you something about yourself that we could all learn from so don’t hesitate to share your victories and your mistakes. God knows all of  us are in a battle to become who we truly are in his eyes. It takes all of us sharing and working together to press on in this race with honesty and truth for those are the keys to setting us free!!

wanting to be free,

Shay

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