I was going to give this year a name but I realized I would only be doing that for myself. I've seen multiple posts of individuals defining or naming their 2018 and they were all different but I loved seeing the diversity! So I thought, why should I be the one to put a name to a year that may not mean the same to you?
So, I'll start by asking you the question: How do you define 2018? What is it "the year of...." for you? First, I want you to think intently about where you are in your life today. It's important for us to assess where we are currently and then decide where do we want to be. What are you believing for in 2018? What do you desire? What are some areas you want to change or improve upon? Has God given you a personal focus for the year? Maybe you're not into themes and you've lived your life by luck or happenstance. This year, I want to challenge you to be more intentional about putting a name to your year. This will create more focus, direction, and success.
Despite how different everyone may define 2018 we have a common thread from the jump: New Beginnings.
There are biblical meanings of numbers and if you don't already know, the #8 means new beginnings. How sway?! Not only will 2018 generally and literally begin a new year, but it will have an intentional meaning of New Beginnings. There is something NEW on the horizon of your life. I cannot define the specifics for you so that will require some personal moments with God so that He could give you that personal download.
NEW is exciting right? However, anything NEW means something old must be released. There's something or someone you have to let go, even if that's some part of yourself. You have to make room for this NEW thing God is doing in your life. It will require you to grow and stretch in some areas, but do you know what those specific areas are? I have a slight hunch you may have an idea but if you're totally clueless take this opportunity to ask God to reveal those inner areas that will require a little more TLC.
What are those comfort zones God is calling you out of that will usher you into your New Beginnings? Again, NEW is great but don't forget to welcome the challenges that will accompany your NEW. Keep it in perspective. As you're greeted with those uncomfortable and even unfavorable moments, just remember they are really opportunities for personal growth that will ultimately lead you to embrace your New Me in your season of New Beginnings.
I believe that will be our common thread. Now here's something more personal.
Want to know how I define 2018?
The Year of Application.
Here's why. Around the last quarter of each year, my spiritual ears get extra sensitive and perked so I can get direction from God for the following year. I know proper planning will always lead to success. I wanted to be prepared. Well, at the end of 2017 I was seeking God for something NEW quite honestly. Since 2016 I have always launched something NEW. I was either rebranding myself, refining my mission, or switching up my overall look/feel of A NEW ME to accommodate the New Year. This happened every last quarter since 2015 to 2016. Well as 2018 approached, I didn't get anything NEW in the last quarter of 2017. This left me bewildered and a bit disappointed. I couldn't understand why I couldn't begin 2018, the year of New Beginnings with a BANG! I wanted to make some noise (my way apparently.)
Then God spoke to me clearly: "What more and NEW do you want? You have everything you need! It's time to APPLY everything I've taught or have given you. You have enough. Use it!"
If you're an overachiever (like me) you know this message hit me right between eyes! As an overachiever I tend to always look for the "next best thing." I require a lot of focus to get things done because I'm constantly seeking for the next rush! I get "high" off of major achievements, so when I'm in the trenches putting in the work to get things done, I STRUGGLE! I know you're wondering, well how do you get them done Dr. E? I STRUGGLE! lol
I also have to be intentional. I have to feed my focus, plan properly, and starve all of my distractions. I have to constantly pray and ask God to give me strength to just complete one task. One. That's just part of my personality and I usually have a lot of irons in the fire. I've learned to balance parts of myself, or what I consider a weakness. I master them by asking God (and even others) for help. It's been a STRUGGLE, but I'm learning to get better at it.
Why is this important to share with you? If you're an overachiever or if you feel you're at an impasse, stuck, or in need of some divine direction for 2018, let me remind you to think about the last thing God told you to do. Complete that first and then revisit Him in the area of "direction."
Here's food for thought: Why would God give you more or add more to your list when you have yet to check off the first thing He gave you instructions to do? I believe the character and goodness of God doesn't want to overwhelm you. That one task is probably overwhelming in itself, but we tend to add on to our stress by "stressing God out" (even though you can't do this:) by seeking Him for MORE when He's given you ENOUGH!
Don't be like me A NEW ME Family, complete your first task. Finish the first step. Find rest in that and know that is enough. God will reveal more as you move in obedience. Obedience will breed your continued success in every area of your life and it will open the path for additional instructions. If this speaks to you, then maybe you're in the year of APPLICATION too? :)
I stated earlier that I absolutely LOVE seeing the diverse themes or mottos of 2018, but let me also tell you what I DISLIKE. When some people try to make you feel bad for how you choose to define another year God has blessed you to live. 2018 belongs to two people, God and You. If someone is shaming you for your NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS or your desire for New Beginnings then maybe you should consider ignoring, blocking, putting some distance between you and that person, but most of all grace them with your prayers.
In 2018, you must also be intentional about protecting your peace and protecting the meaning of how you have been led to define your year. If you don't, you will be giving someone else permission to define your 2018. Don't let them do it. Protect what God has given you. Then, apply what you've been given through proper planning and execution.
In conclusion, let me say this, not out of cliché but out of all sincerity, 2018 is YOUR year! You may not have a more pronounced definition such as mine (APPLICATION) but one thing is for sure, this is the year of NEW BEGINNINGS! This is your opportunity to start fresh and NEW.
We may not even get it right the first time, second time, or even the fifth time around, but one thing is for sure, with a NEW YEAR there will always be reNEWed chances and possibilities! God is gracious and faithful! Trust Him because He trusts you to begin or complete what He has started in you.
Should you decide to partner with God, I'm sure He will be more than happy to help you define your 2018!
Cheers to you and your New Beginnings!
I'm looking forward to a year of APPLICATION to help you continue to embrace A NEW ME: Transparently and Abundantly in Christ.
Happy New Year A NEW ME Family!
With Love -