Happy New Year! I’ve decided that I’m going to be intentional this year about having an Attitude of Gratitude. Therefore, once again, I have chosen a word for the year to guide me. My word for 2017 is BLESSING. The definition can be a special favor, mercy, or benefit; the invoking of God’s favor upon a person; to list two.
I want to focus this year on being aware of God’s blessings in my life. His blessings are abundant. I don’t have to look far to see that God takes care of my needs and is so loving and merciful. I want to even look for the blessings in the hard places. Rather than lament about how difficult and messy life can get, I want to focus on what God is doing through those times. If I believe that God is good and has plans for my life, I must focus on the big picture and the blessings.
This past year, I read and participated in the Proverbs 31 Ministries Online Bible Study (OBS) of Lysa TerKeurst’s book Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely. Not only did I realize that I’m not alone in my insecurities, I realized that if I am living with the fullness of God in me, that I need to recognize how He has blessed me AND I need to focus on BEING A BLESSING TO OTHERS.
I, like so many other women, struggle with depression and a lack of self-confidence. I usually am able to mask it very well and carry on, being very productive. But there are times when I wallow. I feel alone in a crowded room. I don’t know what to say and I think people think I’m obnoxious!
Chapter 4, “Alone in a Crowded Room” must have been written for me. Someone else cannot be my “soul oxygen.” I have to live from a place of being so full of God’s love that when I enter a crowded room, it’s not about me finding where I fit it and feel comfortable. It’s about me looking for ways to help others feel they fit in and are comfortable.
To do this, I can’t be worried about what others are thinking about me. I simply need to be other-focused. Just that small shift in my perspective has already changed my outlook. It might sound like an insignificant change but it’s been a huge paradigm shift for me and I’m praying it will impact others positively. It certainly takes some weight off my shoulders. I don’t have to BE perfect. I just have to be me and care for others.
I pray that I can follow Paul’s prayer for spiritual growth in Ephesians 3: 17-19 “Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.”
Do you have a word for 2017? How will you instill that word in your life this year?