2018 is officially in the books, ladies and gentlemen.
The new year offers unique opportunities for retrospective thoughts while encouraging ambitious anticipation of the future. The internet is covered right now with year-in-review articles, resolutions for the new year and other similar topics. Even though the only thing that changes is the date on the calendar, we have become used to viewing the New Year as a fresh start.
Fitness goals, relationship goals, spiritual goals… it’s enough to make anyone’s head spin.
I would be the first to admit that resolutions never end well for me. I often lacked drive, passion, and dedication to bettering myself with the goals I make for a new year.
I always expected the small, specific goals to shape me into the collected, confident person I wanted to be. Whether these were health related or spiritual goals, I looked to my ambitions to shape my ultimate long-term goals. If I succeeded in those goals, the bigger picture of my life would make sense.
This year, I want to think about it just a little differently.
Instead of letting my small goals determine my purpose, I want to have one overarching goal that intentionally shapes my specific goals. I want my plans to have purpose, which is something resolutions in previous years have lacked.
In 2019, I want to choose joy.
This is my simple, single goal for the year.
Don’t get me wrong, I will still be making intentional spiritual and physical plans for myself. I do not intend to just forget about the specifics. I want the specifics to have a purpose that’s tangible, and an end goal that’s attainable. Before I make resolutions for myself, I want to make sure they fit under the banner of continually learning to choose joy. I will be better equipped for this as I care for my spiritual and physical health.
2018 left my joy significantly dented. It was a hard year for me, my family and many dear friends.
Even as I walked through valleys, my God walked with me.
He has been continually impressing on me that joy is not determined in circumstances.
Joy need not be shaken by pain.
Joy is not a product of success.
True joy is found at the foot of the cross when a forgiven child of God is walking closely with Jesus Christ.
No matter what evil thrives around me, I am content and secure in Jesus’ steadfast love. No one can take that from me.
Joy is a choice, and it is one I want to intentionally make this year.
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Psalm 16:11 ESV