Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Inevitable New Year's Post - Mission Impossible

Greetings and salutations, dear Friends! Poised on the cusp of another year, I'm compelled to share some thoughts. The notion of new beginnings has always held great appeal. The approach of a new year is such a good time to do some looking backward to what has been and forward to what could be.

Blogging can be so helpful! (when it's not stressful and guilt-inducing... ) I've just been scanning my posts from the past year, and they've painted a pretty vivid picture of what 2016 has looked like for me.

It's been quite a year - big changes, high highs and low lows, painful challenges interspersed with calm and peace and beauty, growth and lessons learned, joy and sorrow, fear and faith, fruitfulness and rest. Call me crazy, but I'm starting to see a pattern here - that's what pretty much every year looks like, with a few differentiating details. This is real life.

This year has been a defining one for me - literally. It was the year in which I was finally able to put a name to my mental health issues. Bipolar disorder. This has been huge! While all labels are not necessarily helpful, this one is for me. It fits. Life has indeed become better since beginning to wear it. With the addition of a medication that balances my brain chemistry, I've been experiencing less intense highs and lows, which both myself and my family and friends have come to appreciate. By adding that element to my mental health arsenal (and assembling a mental health arsenal in the first place), I feel armed and dangerous (in a good way!) as 2017 approaches.

You may recall that, rather than creating a long list of New Year's resolutions (that I'll be sure to break), I've started the practice of choosing a single word each year to focus my thoughts and give direction to my choices. This year, my word is IMPOSSIBLE.

It may seem an unlikely and even counter-productive word at first glance, but let me explain. It was this quote from A.W. Tozer that really grabbed me: "God is looking for people through whom He can do the IMPOSSIBLE. What a pity we plan only things we can do ourselves."  

My plans in years past have pretty much stayed in the category of things I could do myself. This year, I was inspired to make a list of the elements of my life that seemed impossible to change. There are seven items on my list. I wrote them on a cue card, folded it, pinned it on my bulletin board and wrote on the front: 2017 Impossible -> possible (nothing is too big for God!)

 I recently had the privilege of reading through the gospel of Matthew aloud with a friend and of all the amazing things that inspired me, this was tops: "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." (Matt. 19:26)

My focus on the impossible this year will be two-fold: I'm giving God my impossibles, and asking Him to give me His impossibles for me. I can't think of anything more exciting and scary, can you?

Happy New Year, my dear Friends! May 2017 be your best year yet - filled with deep peace and overflowing grace, much laughter and gentle lessons, great contentment and real joy!

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