“I need 2018 to be different.” That’s what I said to God in the last hours of 2017. I said it to Him because I know it’s pointless to say it to myself. With age comes experience and I have experienced enough broken promises to myself, so I’ve stopped making them. Promises. Resolutions. Whatever. They are paper-thin and fragile as a young girl’s heart. But. Prayer is a dog with different hair. (Is that how that goes? Doesn’t seem right, but I’ll leave it there for the time being.) Prayer is much stronger than promises and resolutions and determination to change.
Prayer only depends on me to speak and believe. It depends on God to be fulfilled, and God is the most trustworthy Being I know.
When I told Him I wanted 2018 to be different, the word “deeper” echoed in my heart. Different isn’t always something new, sometimes it’s just, well, deeper.
So, here are the top 3 deeper things I am praying for God to do in me in 2018:
- A deeper commitment to my health. I no longer have the luxury of youth or pretending that eating whatever I want isn’t going to hurt me. It already has. The processed food/junk food/fast food/sugary food way of life I lived for so long has caught up to me and now I find myself having to race the clock to try to reverse stupidity. It’s harder than it sounds. But, I need something other than “I can’t eat this or that” to keep me going. I need to apologize to my body for the way I treated it all these years. This has to be about honoring the only body God has given me, not getting into a certain dress size. I will need endurance, patience, and commitment. I’ll need Jesus.
- Deeper relationships. Deeper, not wider. To know and be known. To go beyond the shallows with people. I don’t want more friends, I just want to go deeper with the ones I have. As a high introvert, it will be both challenging and refreshing. Challenging, because my preference is to be alone. Refreshing, because surface only relationships with shallow chit-chat are far too draining for me. But because I am who I am, I know it will require that I do some things I’d rather avoid (besides leaving my house, because I could remain indoors, like, forever). I will need to be vulnerable. Honest with how I’m feeling. And I’ll need to be willing to ask and be asked hard questions. If I want deeper relationships, then I will need to be willing to let someone else go deeper into my life. I’ll need humility and openness. I’ll need Jesus.
- A deeper fasting and prayer life. I know the power of prayer and fasting. I don’t know why it has power, or exactly how it has power, I just know that it does. Mountains have moved in my life, I believe, as a result of prayer and fasting. But then, you know, stuff happens. Like the ever-increasing grip of a food addiction. And complacency. And possibly the lack of desperation. So I need the desperation that comes from needing Jesus, if that makes sense. I need the hunger and thirst that sends me into deeper places in search of His heart and His power to move another mountain.
I want to know God more. I want to know His presence and His power in greater measure than before. I want my heart to expand to hold more of His love, His compassion, and His mercy. I want to love and serve His people with deeper consistency. I want to return to my first Love and let lesser loves fall away this year.
So I can’t make resolutions or promises. Nothing as wispy and fragile as all that.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will hear you. You will seek Me and find Me, when you seek Me with all your heart.” – Jeremiah 29:11
My resolution is a prayer because I need Jesus. And He promised I would find Him.