On the first day of this year, 2011, I asked God about this year. He gives me a word or phrase that is used to describe the year. This year, it was obedience. He was asking me to step out in whatever He asked me to do. How did the year go?
Well, I know sometimes I stepped out in the small things He asked of me, and the big things. He wanted me to go to Haiti. Haiti! I had never even been on a local mission trip, let alone one in another country, and certainly not a country like Haiti. I remember being asked what I expected of the trip and I could honestly answer with, "I have absolutely no idea!" I genuinely went there with no expectations and totally open to whatever God wanted me to do. It was an incredible experience that has spurred me to want to go to other places. I have submitted my application for a trip to Kenya this upcoming summer. I am so very excited about it!
There are the things He asked me to do that I am working on. My house is a constant work in progress, but I am making progress. I am doing the painting, changing, and organizing that needs to be done. I am so excited to see how He uses my house.
Have I been as successful with other things He asked of me? Um, in a word, no! I was partly obedient, which means I wasn't really obedient at all. We want to give ourselves some create for every little thing we do, even though complete surrender is the only kind of surrender there is. So I stepped out and lead a life group, but I didn't obey God's direction for the group. In 2012 the group will hopefully look exactly like what He asked for in the first place.
Then there are the absolute nos! The things He asked me to do that I let fear and pride keep me from. Sometimes I let the voices of doubt and dread speak too much. I could have told them to "shut up, in Jesus' name", and I did at times but not enough. By the way, one time of letting them speak without shutting them up is too many times. Now I'm not saying I only didn't shut those voices up only once! Do these things that I wasn't obedient bother me? Yes, they do, but I have gone to Him for forgiveness and He forgave me. I just want to listen and obey, regardless next time He asks of me.
So was 2011 a success? Yes! We are all a work in progress and I progressed to be more like Christ. I didn't get there, but I got closer, so yes it was a success. Could it have been a bigger success? Oh my yes! I pray that as I continue to grow more like Him, that each year will be more and more successful than the last one. That each year I will become more and more like Him.
So what about 2012? I don't know yet. I have to pray and listen to hear what His word or phrase for 2012 is. I can tell you that I am very excited about it!