I’m not usually one to make resolutions for the new year. I always felt like I didn’t need a new year to start over or start something new. But reflecting on this past year, I realized that I DID need a change- and a big one.
As a youth pastor’s wife, I’m not happy to admit what I’m about to tell you. You see, I just spent the last couple of days with 8 of our youth girls at a youth event. As we were sitting in our room, I was telling each girl what their gifts were and what I personally see in them. And then, they decided to do the same for me. And what they said hit me hard. They used words like “grateful”, “welcoming”, “joyful.” And as much as their words meant the world to me, they also made me realize that I wasn’t those things. At least not all of the time.
Yeah, I came to church on Sundays and Wednesdays, sometimes picking up girls when needed. I was there for them when we were there, always wanting to laugh with them and be the role model they needed. I tried to go to their events. I tried talking with them throughout the week to make sure they were doing okay. So in that sense, I was doing what I was called to do. But outside of the church, behind closed doors, I was the complete opposite.
This year hasn’t been the easiest for my little family. We made it through, still with a roof over our head and food in the fridge- but sometimes by just a few pennies, and sometimes with the gracious help of our family. During this time of anxiously waiting the unknown, I became what I never wanted to be. I was constantly filled with anger, bitterness, a lack of self control over my emotions. I yelled when Cheerios were spilled, to the point that Oliver looked at me in fear. I nagged day in and day out at Drew, telling him everything he did wrong and not giving him any amount of grace, even when he was working for our family just to make ends meet. I was bitter at all of the people who seemed to have their lives all put together. I blamed my tiredness on just being busy, when in reality it was because I was continuously fighting all of these emotions and rage I had built up inside. I blamed the world for all of these struggles, never once taking a step back to think I had let the enemy get to me and tear me down. He had put it in my head and heart that I wasn’t good enough. That I would never amount to anything. That I would always be this hate filled person. And the worst part about this, was that I only went to God at this time in desperation. I just wanted Him to fix these things, instead of myself. I only read the word or prayed or worshiped because I felt like I was “supposed to.” There was no personal want to be with Him.
His unfailing love and grace was always there. I just never took the time to go after it. I never opened my arms or heart to Him. But that is my resolution for this year. To go after Him with all of me, every day, all of the time. Instead of looking on Facebook, I need to go to his Word any time I can get. Instead of listening to worldly music while I walk, I need to worship Him. When I feel like I’m getting angry and about to blow up, I need to take a breath, step back, and just start praying that He helps me through it. I need to start writing down more of my hopes, dreams, prayers- and making them a reality. I know it’s not going to be just as easy as I wrote it out to be. I’m going to have to be self aware and CHOOSE Him over my wants and emotions. Because when He is in me, I know I will have that peace and sweet, sweet grace that I’ve talked always talked about.
I will continue to keep you updated on this journey of mine, as I know I’m not the only one going through this season. I pray that anybody who reads this will find the hope and power of Jesus and start on this road with me.
The best is yet to come!