How do we prepare our hearts for the new year?
When the first day of 2021 rolled around, I was confident because I knew my One Word. I thought I had a good plan to move forward into a successful year. But I was utterly unprepared for all that 2021 held. Most of my writing plans went by the wayside. And my heart and mind and spirit? They were blindsided by everything 2021 was.
- Deaths of family and friends
- A biopsy
- Contracting Covid
- A boy-man making heartbreaking choices
- Deep discouragement
I don’t list this so people feel sorry for me; this is a cross-cut of all 2021 was for our family.
And I wasn’t spiritually prepared to grapple with all the stress these events brought on. I lived in reactor mode rather than trust-God mode.
So, how do we prepare our hearts and minds for the unexpected this year will throw at us?
How to Prepare our Hearts:
- Decide when in our day—each day—we will spend time with the Lord in His word and prayer. Having this daily habit prepares us for when the struggles come.
- Remember—maybe even journal—the ways we saw God show up in our life last year. These can be like an altar of remembrance for us when we face struggles this year.
- If we have One Word we’re focusing on, ask the Lord to give us verses to meditate on. Ask Him to give us eyes to see how He’s speaking to us regarding our One Word.
- Consider where we struggled last year and bring those before the Lord. Ask Him to renew our hearts and minds in those areas. For me? Fear. I’m asking the Lord to show me when and why I’m reacting in fear in a given situations and to help me change the focus of my thoughts.
How to Prepare our Minds:
- Determine in our thoughts that we will cling to the Lord, even if the worst happens in our year.
- Consider these questions that help us determine how things went last year. (PS I’m not endorsing the site of this link, but I thought the questions were great!).
- Pray through the areas where we struggled and ask the Lord for insight. What were our heart issues? Why did we grapple in that area? Where did we see growth in our relationship with God? With others? Ask God for direction as we work through these questions and other things God shows us.
- For goal-setters, ask the Lord to show us the goals He wants us to work toward and craft a plan.
We all want to thrive in this new year, don’t we? If we’re going to flourish, we must accept that we will face unexpected events. Hopefully, nothing truly terrible will happen. But, even if our worst fears become a reality, we get to choose how we will respond.8 How To’s to Prepare our Hearts for the New Year—If we're going to flourish, we must accept that we will face unexpected events #tellhisstory #newyear #perspective Click To Tweet
Nurturing our relationship with God
If we are intentional in our daily choices by nurturing our relationships with God and others, if those genuinely terrible times happen, we will weather them better. When we meditate on and live in the truths God teaches us in the calm times, we’ll be able to stand on them in the difficult times. Our God is always faithful, unchanging, and ever-present.8 How To’s to Prepare our Hearts for the New Year—8 How To's to Prepare our Hearts for the New Year—When we meditate on and live in the truths God teaches us in the calm times, we'll be able to stand on them in the difficult times… Click To Tweet
In this psalm, David reveals his peace. This man who worshiped God in the field with the sheep . . .
This man who killed a lion and a bear because he was the shepherd of his sheep and this was his responsibility, and he didn’t make a big deal about it . . .
This is the same man who cried out to the Lord in his trouble. He knew God heard his cries.
David, in the midst of trouble, laid down and slept. He slept! And he awoke knowing that the Lord sustained him and would continue to sustain him.
Because of the relationship David fostered in the fields and the quiet times, He knew God would be with him in these times when his enemies came against him.
David knew peace because He knew the One who protected and provided for him.
Truths to remember
As we head into the rest of this year, let’s prepare our hearts by remembering these truths:
God loves us perfectly, passionately, and completely
He will walk with us through each day in the ups and the downs
As we draw near to God, He will draw near to us
Even when we are weak, our Father is always strong
Let’s do the work to prepare our hearts and minds for this year. Though we don’t know all we will face, we know the One who does. Let’s lean into our Father, trusting Him in every moment.
What about you? What helps you prepare for a new year? How do you find peace in unexpected times?Come share your story at the Tell His Story linkup. Connect and be encouraged by like-minded friends! #tellhisstory #linkup Click To Tweet
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