Happy words!  Joyful words!  Exuberant Words!   That’s what I long to fill the empty pages of my Christmas gift journal with this year.  Normally it chronicles my fears, longings and urgent prayer requests.

I want to do things differently this year!  Maybe you long for a new dynamic, also.

For 2012, I feel as if God is turning everything topsy turvy, which is one thing I love about Him. Although He never changes, the way He chooses to grow us moves to different rhythms during different seasons of our lives. I love that He is entirely creative, and that He invites me into that wild creativity.

2011 was the year I transitioned from weeping to rejoicing. From looking back too much to joyfully anticipating the future. From stagnating to genuine growth. From winter to spring.

My entire countenance changed.  And while I still carry reminders of the past, they now look beautiful instead of anguished. A remembrance of winter, but more like a fading memory.

Isaiah wrote, “Do not call to mind the former things or ponder things of the past. Behold I will do something new. Will you not be aware of it? I will even make rivers in the desert, roadways in the wilderness.” (43:18-19). 2012 is a year for new. For flourishing. For abundance. Despite outward circumstances which inevitably fluctuate, abundance will thrive deep inside me.

That’s because 2011 taught me a very poignant lesson. When we live constantly in reaction to the past, we sabotage our future. Letting Jesus in heals us from the inside out, allows us to live in His strength when we are weak. The Christian life is not about us being strong and trying hard to overcome; it’s about entrusting ourselves to our strong God.

This year, I want to feast on His grace, relish His forgiveness and inspire people by the way I live my life.  I want to pray joyful prayers, but also to use that time to unleash my concerns and intercede for hurting friends.  I want to clear my mind of the cobwebs of the past and walk solidly with the God of the irresistible future.

Most importantly, though, as I put my hand into God’s and walk with Him, I want to deepen my friendships.  There is tremendous joy when we invest in people.  I yearn to hold the hands of some of the bravest people – those who transform the world by doing life changing, kingdom changing things. I’m ready to listen, to cry with you, to laugh alongside you in life’s choicest moments and to rejoice in answered prayers.

In 2012, I know the Lord has plans for us.

They might be (well, probably are) different from our own plans. But like you, I aspire to be open to what God has for me. I pray the voice of the Holy Spirit will be a loud megaphone directing my steps. I want the desires of my heart to reflect His desires.

Let’s walk boldly into this New Year by holding loosely to the things of this world and tightly to everlasting things.

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