Each year, at the end of the year, social media explodes with “a year in review”. People post photos of what they did over the last twelve months, reflecting on the good and trying to forget the bad. They always promise that “next year will be better”, along with choosing a word or making some resolutions to live by.
I’ll be honest, I used to really like these traditions. Nothing seemed better than looking back, reflecting on how God was present, and looking forward with anticipation to what He was going to do next. That’s not a bad way to look at a new year, right?
However, at the end of this year, I breathed a sigh of relief. 2021 was by far the hardest year I’ve ever endured, both as a mother, as part of a family unit, and as an individual. 2021 was filled with sickness, struggle, and frustration; it was speckled and dotted with questioning, confusion, and distraction.
When the New Year turned, my first thought was “thank God that’s over!”. I was so focused on all the bad that came out, I was blinded to what was actually good.
Friends, it is so dang easy for me to get distracted and blinded by the enemy. It’s definitely a weakness of mine for sure; if anything, this past year taught me that! My blinders were so wide, I was missing a lot of what God was doing, how He was changing me, and how He has been shaping my life to fulfill His purpose for me, not mine.
So honestly, that’s what I’ve been realizing as I look back on a year I wish I could forget – that I, in fact, don’t want to forget it. In the midst of the chaos, pain, and suffering, God was still working.
Instead of choosing a word this year, there was a phrase I felt like God kept putting on my heart to be my “mantra” if you will:
If it doesn’t matter in eternity, it doesn’t matter.
It’s powerful, sobering, and a constant reminder – this world is desperate to keep us distracted. They want to entice us with all the fancy, shiny things that only end up stealing our true joy and replace it with hollow, shallow happiness that doesn’t last.
To clarify, I’m not saying we can’t find happiness in this life; the Bible actually commands us to do so in Ecclesiastes 9:9. What I’m saying is the materialistic mindset and pursuing happiness through outlets in the world will only leave us feeling empty. It’s not the thing designed to bring us pure satisfaction and fulfillment!
In 2021, I was consumed with making people happy – in my life, in my business, and in my family. I wanted to do it all and be it all. So many were calling me “super mom”, but I felt anything but super. In fact, I felt depressed, anxious, and alone.
So what does this say? It says that no matter how hard you try, how far you strive, how much you achieve, if it’s not for God and it doesn’t matter in eternity, it’s not ultimately going to matter. If it’s not centered on God, it’s not going to leave you feeling centered.
This year, instead of trying to find “what I’m meant to do with my life”, I’m just going to follow His call. I’ve finally realized how good it is that we have a Father in heaven who truly does have everything under control. And if that’s true, friends, we have the freedom to let go of it and the worry that comes right along with it.
And man, I don’t know about you, but to me, that’s true freedom. Let’s pursue that this year.