I woke up this morning still carrying weight from 2018. Yes, I know that life doesn't magically change from one moment before midnight to one moment after.
But, I also see the New Year as a fresh start - one where I can adjust my attitudes and perspective. And I want to look at things differently this year. I want to look at them through God's eyes. And, I want to look at them through a lens of joy and confidence ( my words for the year).
The thing that weighed so much on me this morning is knowing that we have burned a bridge behind us. It's hugely scary, especially since we haven't found where we are going to land yet.
But, I felt like God said to me, "Do you trust in ___________ or do you trust in me? (I left a blank there because some of this is still too personal and raw to insert specifics. But, you too can fill in that blank with whatever is specific to your life).
We are now in a position where we will need to rely fully and completely on God. There is no Plan B. It is simply to trust Him.
And I suppose the opposite of dread (that feeling that follows me relentlessly and that I feel so often almost as soon as I wake in the morning) is Expectation. Maybe that's what my word should have been for the year. Perhaps the joy and confidence I seek are the result of expectation.
Expectation: A belief that something will happen in the future
In secular culture we are often warned not to set our expectations too high so that we won't be disappointed.
Or expectations are seen as a set of pre-suppositions that can hinder actual growth or relationships. For instance, if we go into a marriage with expectations of what the other person should do or should be like, it can actually hurt the relationship.
But, it's also a word that is used a lot in our church recently....in a totally different context. Expectation is seen as looking ahead, looking forward to God's goodness - knowing there are things in store for His people...... expecting to see Him work in and through our situations.
And, as I looked up the definition of expectation online I came across the 'archaic' definition, which is "one's prospect of inheritance".
Yes! Now put that into spiritual terms. We look ahead to , we long for our spiritual inheritance. This is the object of our expectation.
And, how can I infuse expectation into my daily life? I'm not sure. But, I'm going to ask God to give me a spirit of expectation.
Perhaps one of those ways is to rewire our neural pathways (This was mentioned in Sunday's sermon at church). My pathways have been so trained to go directly to negative thinking. It's become a lifestyle for me.
In fact, this morning when I woke up I immediately felt the heaviness of that negative thinking.
But, by sitting down and fleshing out those thoughts in written form and reminding myself of what God is saying, I am strengthening new pathways.
Pathways to Expectation, Joy, and Confidence.