As I spend my first year home from church on New Year's Eve (I'm sorry Granny), I am actually pleased with my own meditations and prayers that have been placed on my heart. Though I embrace these everyday, I find it a blessing to let them saturate my spirit collectively going into 2011.
I pray earnesty for a new heart on a everyday basis because from the time I get up to the time I lay my head down, the world throws so many opportunities at me to cling to the old, hurtful, dark me. I can no longer be that creature as I rest in how far God has brought me not just this year, but from the moment I learned of this world.
Ezekiel 36:25-27And in looking back, I cast many thanks to what God has delivered me from. As I tell people often, I know that God allowed me to find out my HIV status the way I did, when I did for a reason and I am forever thankful for it. No one knows the path of destruction I was willingly headed towards because of my pains and insecurities. No one knows how far from God I was but He and I. The fact that He is a merciful, loving, forgiving God brings me so much joy that I cannot wait to give thanks when my eyes open each morning. That's His way of saying, "I still have work for you to do" and looking back at but not holding on to those fears and pains, propels me forward. If He's done this much for my life and I've been screwing up the past 20 something years, I can't imagine what He could do through me for my remaining!!
25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.
Philippians 3:13-14 (King James Version)
13Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
I sometimes beat myself up for not doing things my parents wanted me to do; telling myself that my life would be "better", forgetting that all things happen for a reason. At 28, I truly feel like I am living life the way I am supposed to. I feel as though the past ten years I have been in a deep sleep and God has awakened me to start fresh, get it right and break free of any strongholds that I held on to as a teen. All the pains I've caused, all the hurts that have been dealt my way I still give God the glory because if they didn't happen, would I honestly take the time to reach out to God? I'd be deadlocked with my left hand raised and my right hand out "claiming my blessing" as though He owes me. Nothing that passes me by from day to day really has anything to do with me and for that I'm thankful. If it was all about me and I summed up the past 28 years...I'm not saying much! But because I know HE has a purpose for me to bring others to Him, I choose to be the willing vessel.
Hebrews 12:10-11In closing...(this far I'm pretty proud my thoughts haven't rambled off!!) I will not waste my days looking at what the next person has or even what the next person's goals are. Just because someone is successful doesn't mean they are living with purpose. I couldn't imagine going through this life making decisions that led to an ultimate dead end where only I prospered and only I reaped benefits. Even when I'm not "doing anything", I'm actively pursuing God's will. And if that means to simply sit still and wait for further instructions, so be it.
Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for him to act. Don't worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes. (NLT)
Yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary. (NASB)
And I waited and was strengthened. I've soared and I've ran. I will continue to walk with God as my guide and will not grow weary. In Jesus' name. Amen.