The piece I'm going to share is written by a woman named Dwyanna. She and her husband live in Guatemala and live an outreach ministry to the people around them. She's a really neat lady and she has such a heart for the Lord. But, I think that will be obvious when you read what she wrote.
I could relate to so much that she said here. I hope you are as blessed by this as I was. It's long but so worth the read. Thanks so much to Dwyann for graciously allowing me to share.
2011 Goals (as shared by Dwyanna on Facebook)
I am wondering if anyone else can relate.....does anyone else go into the new year thinking of all the things you want to change about yourself and your life?? Does anyone else go into the New Year ready to fight and take on the world??
As I was sitting and pondering this first morning of 2011 my mind immediately rushed to all the things I need to fix !! Many things about myself and my house. My natural mind wanted to grab a notebook and write down everything I need to do or see done in 2011. My loooong list of goals!! I hear myself saying once again in my thoughts, “I need to fix myself...this year I must correct some behaviors and bad habits....I must tear down some strongholds in my belief system...I need to work on being more positive....I need to let go of all fears..... I need to fight harder and stand stronger”....so many things I would like to do differently!
Then there is the looming physical things that I need to fix....my weight....my clothes....my hair.... my shoes.... everything I have is so old and so out of style (whatever that is). I feel the need to cram myself into a mold that I can’t even find!! I feel the need to be something different somehow....
Well....I feel overwhelmed with all those things that I think needs to happen in 2011!!
Then I hear Him say:
“Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek): for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
And as for all those behaviors (fruit) that I think needs fixed I hear Him saying:
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away; and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them in to the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that you should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. These things I command you, that ye love one another. If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.”
I heard that still small voice saying to me this morning....change your focus this year...quit trying to fix something that you cannot.....quit trying to fix something that isn’t even broken....change your focus this year to the One Who can fix, to the One Who can restore!! Learn Me this year!!
In short: Quit trying to fix or change yourself and learn the Only One Who can, God the Father!!
So my goal is to quit focusing on what all I think is wrong with me and focus on Him. Take my eyes off of me and my past and put them on Him...saying Lord have Your way in my life...Your will be done in my life....it’s all about surrender and trust....
.....like jumping off of a cliff!!
I had wanted to start the year off with a 40 day fast and much prayer but God did not let me go that direction. I feel like He wants me to continue to surrender and trust and wait on Him...for me a fast would have been me trying to make something happen.... Something God has been dealing with me on for awhile already. I was not taught to pray “Lord Your will be done”!! I was taught to pray whatever I wanted and to command it to be so!! I understand that the Lord gives us the desires of our heart and that he wants us to make our request known to Him but He doesn’t want us telling Him how to answer our prayers and when .... I’m not saying it’s wrong to fast, it’s just not the right time for me right now, fasting is heavy duty warfare and that is not the season I am in.
I hear Him saying “the battle is mine”....
I Samuel 17:47
And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD’S, and he will give you into our hands.
2 Chronicles 20:15 b
....Thus saith the Lord unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason.... for the battle is not yours, but God’s.
I hear Him saying “I am in your corner”.... “I will fight for you”.... “let ME”!! Again He calls me to lay down all my tools and weapons...
.....follow Him, trust Him, surrender to Him!!
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all they ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
As a child no one fought for me or defended me and now as a adult I find this is my biggest and greatest challenge.... to trust someone loves me enough to fight for me, to defend me, protect me. I am tired of trying to do it all or change everything about myself.... trying to become what the world says is acceptable!! (If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.)
I wonder why do we think we have to be accepted by the world? I wonder why do we buy into the lie that says our bodies, our clothes, our houses, our cars have to be perfect, that all of that somehow makes us special and makes us “who we are”!! Well, MY identity is not in all of those things. My identity is in the One Who died to give me life so my focus for 2011 is on Him not on all those things that the world tells me is my identity.
2011 is about Him, not me...what He wants to do...I hear Him saying “Please let ME work in your life, let ME fix all the broken places and broken things!! Even if I worked a lifetime I could not fix it all and I would never become what the world wants me to become.
I hear Him saying:
"Quit trying to make yourself in their image!! You are created in MY image...BE YOURSELF...BE THE ONE I CREATED YOU TO BE....DO THE THINGS I CREATED YOU TO DO....BE THAT PERSON I CREATED AND PLANNED FOR YOU TO BE.....EMBRACE IT AND LIVE OUT OF IT AND QUIT TRYING TO FIX IT AND CHANGE IT!!!!!!!!"
I guess you could say that 2011 is also about learning to even be more real than I already am, to be wholly and completely authentic.....whatever that is....and to not be ashamed of what God has created.
I have spent a great amount of time focusing inward on all the things that I felt needed to be changed about myself....as if I am not acceptable at all. But I see that it is time to take off these glasses and turn them around and look outward and upward!! That is my goal for 2011!! No front, no mask, just me being me! So I go into 2011 not with the goal to change myself but to accept and embrace myself and to love myself and to live life authentically as God created me to do and be.
I was taking up my tools, my weapons and defense the last couple of days, as if I was really getting ready to take on the new year with much fight and defense!! It’s different to think of going into the new year “sitting” or “laying down”.....
.....it feels like such a defeated stance!!
But my victory cometh not by what I am able to accomplish but by what HE has already accomplished. My victory comes not in fighting but in “sitting” at the feet of the master and resting. NOT getting up and strapping on all the weapons and taking on a war just because a new year rolled around (that’s what a 40 day fast would have done). I see that I need to simply rest and let God defend me, protect me, rebuild me and refresh me.
I have been on a long and strenuous journey (2009-2010), it’s time to rest and rebuild, restore, refresh!! It’s not time to get defensive and go out to war!!
There is a time for all things.....and for me this is a season of rest and refreshing!
Just thought I would share my thoughts and feelings with you.
Hugs and Blessings to all of you this New Year!!
May you each live authentically and not be trying to change the beauty that God created in you just to please and be accepted by the world!!