Reconciling my emotions & moments to the reality of God’s calling.
This month marks the beginning of another year, and if you’re anything like me, you’ve had your moments of reflection on what last year was like, where you hoped you would be, where you are and going. My wife and I went through numerous transitions that were both exciting and filled with fear. The excitement of what God was doing in our lives, a new job, a pregnancy, an incredible son, and the fears of the responsibilities that came with the newness of things. There were highs and lows, but it was those tiny winy miracles that kept us pressing on. January feels like the month for dreaming, setting new goals, restructuring, new beginnings, and leaving behind some things or what many call resolutions. It is a month filled with the hope of what could be and another chance to get into a world of endless possibilities. As the year begins, the word that comes to mind is “FOCUS.” Focusing on God and His word and reconciling my emotions to the reality of God’s calling on my life.
In the midst of the transition between life and work last year, I was discontent with many things. I got angry and afraid and questioned my purpose in many cases. I allowed my present circumstances of dissatisfaction, change, transitions, lack of clarity, and other people’s successes, fear, and insecurities to dictate God’s path for me. In doing so, I found myself living like the flickering of a candle rather than the blazing of a new day sun, meandering with no significance and a feeling that I did not matter.
I am learning that no matter where I go, life will present moments that will cause all sorts of emotions(excitement, tears, regrets, etc.). Maybe it’s a new job, a new relationship, a house, or a friendship; there will come moments that will make you want to quit, but it is in those moments that you will have to wrestle with the current circumstances and the obedience to God’s call on your life.
One night when my son was nine weeks old, he woke up and started crying uncontrollably. My wife had just undergone surgery, I was tired from work, and it was exhausting to wake up at 2am and be a good parent. I remember tears rolling down my face, and at that moment, God humbled me and reminded me that He is sovereign, He created him, and that He was going to give my wife and me strength and wisdom to raise him. As I reflect on that moment, I realize that it did not matter how I felt, how much I cried or got angry; at the end of it all, I am a parent, and regardless of my feelings, there was a crying son that needed to be taken care of. I needed to change my focus which would, in turn, change my perspective.
Friends, as the year starts, the word that keeps coming to mind is Focus. I do not know where you are, but I’m writing this unafraid of exposing my insecurities, failures, and vulnerabilities for the sake of anyone who finds themselves wrestling with the idea of purpose because of the rollercoaster of emotions they found themselves in. I write this for anyone walking in the wilderness, wondering if where God took you from would be the best way to go back to question whether He truly has a beautiful plan for your life. I write this for anyone in despair which has stopped hoping for change. Just like you, I want to live on purpose and a life of significance. I do not want to meander with no sense of meaning.
“But now, this is what the Lord says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” Isaiah 43:1-2 NIV
Therefore, as the year starts, I invite you to focus on God and His word. I truly believe that we find our purpose in the One who created us. This changes our perspective when we go through difficulties and changes everything! In the shadow of His wings, the psalmist writes that you can take refuge in Him, and He will fight for you. Amid the storms this year, may He give you quiet peace and rest when chaos surrounds you. May His words comfort you and remind you that He loves you and will never leave nor forsake you. In His love, He sent His son Jesus to die on the cross for you, and we are reminded that nothing can separate us from this kind of love.
“Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the highest mountains, your justice like the great deep. You, Lord, preserve both people and animals. How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light, we see the light.”
Psalms 36:5-9 NIV
May this year, 2023, be the best year of your life!