Samantha Wiraatmaja »

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How To Step Fearlessly Into The New Year

Can I make a little confession? Lately I’ve been peering over the edge of this year to look into the next… and found myself vacillating between eager anticipation and gut-wrenching fear.

How do I start the year well and make sure that it ends even better?

What is God’s plan for the coming year – for myself, my calling, my generation, the world?

What is that one Word that will define the year to come?

These are questions that many of us ask whenever this time of year comes around. We ask these questions because they are a manifestation of what Holy Spirit has deposited in our hearts – Eternity. “He has placed eternity in the hearts of men” Ecclesiastes 3:11. We ask because deep within each human heart is a knowing that we were created for greatness. We were created to leave a lasting legacy.

So we search for purpose and direction – and if we’d allow His Spirit in with open hearts, that search is designed to escort us deeper into the very heart of God Himself.

I have loved the waiting-on-God parts. The dreaming & hoping & planning – that I absolutely love and thrive on.

But here’s where my heart catches & trips on itself sometimes – I take a good look at where His Spirit is leading me, at the mission and mountain(s) I am required to overcome, and I am afraid. Like the disciple Peter, I turn my eyes upon the waves and get more impressed with their strength (and what I am doing) than I am with the power of the One who designed them.

Perhaps you are like me, excited and sometimes anxious about the future. Or maybe, instead, you are in a place of not knowing where to go or what to do. Wherever you are today, here are some ways to help you (and me) step fearlessly into the new year.

1. Get to know your God

“Hey girl, don’t you know who I am? This story you’re seeing is just the beginning, I’m only getting started.” God spoke this to my heart today. To put life into perspective, we must get to know our God. We were made for Him and by Him, and apart from Him life makes no sense. And the beauty of getting to know God is that the deeper we get, the more we discover of the depth & vastness of Him. It doesn’t matter if you’re a veteran or just starting out on the journey, or maybe even a little lost on the road – God can, and wants to, encounter you anywhere.

A big question that I get often is, “How do I hear the voice of God?”… Because how do we get to know God unless we can hear Him speak? I have a blog series coming up in January that will cover the topic of hearing the voice of God in greater depth, but for now here are the simple foundational truths of the matter.

God wants you more than you could ever want Him. Let this truth get deep down into your spirit. Without a revelation of God’s love for us, our pursuit of Him will only lead to strife, pride and/or discouragement. We draw near to Him because He first loved us and called us, and that’s good news for us because that means we have full access to Him anytime we choose to say “Yes”!

God speaks. Today. God is alive and real and fiercely present in your life – He is the same God who spoke to Abraham and Moses, and He would speak to you face to face today. Let the first thing you do in the new year be to get rid of all the doubts and questions. Repent of unbelief. Ask the Lord to help you in areas where you want to believe but find resistance in your heart – He will help you, promise. He wants to speak to you and you don’t have to cajole/bribe/earn His attention.. what a relief!

Take time to wait. For an hour, or even just 15 minutes a day. Our souls need time to bask and breathe in God’s presence, dear heart. If you are too busy to wait on God a few minutes a day then you are TOO busy – God gave each one of us just enough time for everything that we need to do each day (and that includes rest, time with loved ones, and space for our souls to just breath). Cut out all the noise and extra things. Ask God to speak to you, and keep waiting till He does. He might speak to you through a Taylor Swift song, or in nature, or even through a little child – don’t keep Him in a box, because He loves to encounter each one of us in our unique ways. Enjoy the courtship (;

Journal. A little word that you think you heard God speak to you. A Bible verse that caught your heart. A prophecy/prayer given to you by a friend. Write all these down. You’ll be surprised a few months down the road when you look back and see how all your journal entries came together like little jigsaw pieces to form a bigger picture of what God is saying/doing in your life.

2. Get the big picture of who you are

When God created woman, she was called “Ishah” which means “Woman”. Ishah was simply who she was.  The woman fell when she began to doubt God’s heart for her, allowing fear to creep into her heart, and decided that she needed to take control of her own life. God’s curse on her (and all her daughters) was that there would be great pain in childbearing. This includes the nurturing & bearing to full maturity of everything in our lives that require nurturing & incubation – ideas, hopes, dreams, relationships.

“Ishah” was changed to “Eve” – mother of all living things. No longer was woman defined by who she was; from then on she’d be defined by what she did. And isn’t being defined by what we do the reason why so many of us strive, compare, and get jealous/insecure?

BUT the purpose of the curse was not to punish the woman for her fear & doubt – God is neither petty nor vindictive. Rather, through the curse He planned to bring about the restoration of order that was lost during the fall – through the woman’s struggle to bear fruit in her life, she’d have to turn to God for help and learn to trust Him, acknowledging that she couldn’t do it on her own. It was God’s way of restoring womankind to the way they were created to function – at rest, at peace, trusting in God’s provision for them. And through His plan that culminated in Jesus, we now have a way back to the glory of Eden.

Who are you when all the hustling and doing is stripped away? Who are you, just as you are, without your accolades and accomplishments?

God welcomes you to enter into His presence with empty hands – come without pretense and without strife, lifting up your empty hands so He can fill them up with good things. Go into His presence and wait there, let Him whisper to you all the wonderful, beautiful words about who He made you to be. Capture a glimpse of your destiny through His eyes.

(p.s. Carry this reminder for the new year everywhere you go with January’s free wallpaper. Sign up with your email!)

 

3. Get more impressed with God than anything else

The times that my heart has tripped over itself are the times that I’ve found myself more impressed with anything/anyone else than I am with God.

Here’s what I mean – I start to fall when I start to number my people and count my treasures. Just like King David and King Hezekiah did (Verse references: 1 Chronicles 21, 2 Samuel 24, 2 Kings 20, Isaiah 39), I sometimes catch myself reveling in the glow of the victories & blessings that God has brought me to. I count my accomplishments and all the ways that I have been winning… and it takes just that split second to fall down the slippery slope.

Because you see friends, when we start to number our people and count our treasures, it doesn’t stop there. It inevitably leads us to compare our wins with the wins of others; feeling relieved and affirmed when our numbers best theirs, getting discouraged and frustrated when they get ahead. We end up locked in the cycle of being impressed with ourselves, with others, with new win strategies.

What if we stopped counting our treasures and took God at His word, “I am your shield, your very great reward”? What if we saw that He alone was our treasure, and everything else flowed from Him, through Him, and for Him?

It would be worth a try to start the year with this one request, “Lord, help me get my heart centered on celebrating the impressiveness of you. Show me more of You and take my eyes off of me. Impress me, Lord!”

I am willing to bet you that if you said this prayer (and meant it) everyday for the rest of next year, you would have a TON of amazing stories to tell by the end of it.

 

Walking with God is a great adventure, and with our hands in His there is nothing we have to fear! How we embark on the discovery of our life’s purpose, and how we find God in the process, is something that I will be covering in a little more depth with a blog series in January. Share your thoughts + questions with me and I’ll do my best to address them. Till then, happy new year, friends!

  • Hannah DianeDecember 31, 2014 - 9:05 pm

    This is a wonderful post- great ideas! Thank you. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • KristenDecember 31, 2014 - 9:21 pm

    I love this! The opening line is perfect. New Years and it’s resolutions are all built around our search to belong and become better and be who we really are supposed to be. In reality, that isn’t fixated on a goal list or one day a year to restart, but we are to continually renew ourselves in Christ and fixate our eyes on Him like you describe in this post. If we do that then our resolutions line up with His will on their own. Our desires match His and we find our true purpose and direction through Him. Thanks for sharing this!ReplyCancel

  • Dionne DeanDecember 31, 2014 - 9:40 pm

    What an amazing post!!! ‘Get to know your God’…wow..This post will be my meditation for the month of January. I am so appreciative of you for writing it!ReplyCancel

  • Mary Lou CaskeyDecember 31, 2014 - 9:42 pm

    How beautiful, thank you so much!!ReplyCancel

  • Jennie GoutetJanuary 1, 2015 - 12:24 am

    This:

    “Ishah” was changed to “Eve” – mother of all living things. No longer was woman defined by who she was; from then on she’d be defined by what she did. And isn’t being defined by what we do the reason why so many of us strive, compare, and get jealous/insecure?

    is God speaking to me today. It’s the answer to the conversation I was having with my husband earlier, and I can’t wait to share it with him.ReplyCancel

  • JessicaJanuary 1, 2015 - 1:47 am

    This is such a great post! So inspirational.ReplyCancel

  • TheresaJanuary 1, 2015 - 1:55 am

    Lovely post and such beautiful images!ReplyCancel

  • alyssaJanuary 1, 2015 - 2:04 am

    This is a lovely post! I’m finally starting to get back into taking time during my day to have a devotional/quiet time. I stopped almost 2 years ago and I’m really excited to see how my life changes with God as a bigger part of it.

    Happy New Year!!ReplyCancel

  • Shannon PetersonJanuary 1, 2015 - 3:05 am

    I’m hoping to start a thankful journal this year and take a little more quiet time for myself! Happy New year!ReplyCancel

  • AngelaJanuary 1, 2015 - 6:01 am

    Thank you for your post. This is something that I needed to read, I know the visions God gave me, they are coming forth, yet my fear that am I worthy to carry it out. Thank youReplyCancel

  • LauraJanuary 1, 2015 - 6:19 am

    I’m looking forward to a new scripture reading challenge we’ve set up, reading the Four Gospels by Easter!ReplyCancel

  • Danielle KJanuary 1, 2015 - 6:49 am

    Such a great post – gives me a lot of think about as I ring in the new year.ReplyCancel

  • Jessica @ The Pen & the NeedleJanuary 1, 2015 - 10:32 pm

    Great post to start out the new year with. Thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • Jess.January 2, 2015 - 1:05 am

    Great ideas that could be applied to so many areas in life! Happy New Year!ReplyCancel

  • lindaJanuary 2, 2015 - 3:21 am

    thank you for such a beautiful and inspirational post! happy new year to you!ReplyCancel

  • laurenJanuary 2, 2015 - 3:21 am

    I love this post! I love how you talked about stepping fearlessly into the year. It’s a good reminder that God is on our side!ReplyCancel

  • Kim @ This Ole MomJanuary 2, 2015 - 6:28 am

    Beautiful post and very inspirational ! Thank you for sharing. Happy New Year!!ReplyCancel

  • Kimberly @ Stuffed SuitcaseJanuary 2, 2015 - 9:06 am

    I think it’s always a good thing to search out hearts and further ponder the glory of God. For when we put Him in a box and think we have Him and it all figured out, that’s when we have a problem. I love walking with God through life and sharing my life with Him!ReplyCancel

  • maxJanuary 2, 2015 - 11:04 am

    This post has truly touched my heart. Thank you so much for sharing.ReplyCancel

  • {leah}January 2, 2015 - 3:33 pm

    This was beautifully written! I am going to focus on the women in the scriptures this year as a part of my scripture study. I think the women are so powerful. The lessons that can be learned from these humble servants of the Lord is amazing.

    Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • JulieJanuary 2, 2015 - 10:45 pm

    What a beautiful post – it definitely resonated with me. This year I”m taking even more time to hone down my resolutions because I’m waiting on God’s voice for me in the stillness.ReplyCancel

  • Eliz FrankJanuary 3, 2015 - 12:26 am

    Happy New Year! What a beautiful start to the year and to remember the blessings and divinity around us… I would add embrace moments of silence and listen to the grace of God speaking through us.ReplyCancel

  • KimJanuary 3, 2015 - 12:56 am

    Yes…Yes…Yes!

    Oh to be reminded of God’s desire to commune with us each day. My prayer is that our heart’s can daily bear witness to this reality so to live purposefully. Samantha, I absolutely love each post. You speak directly to my core. Thanks so much for allowing God to use you.ReplyCancel

  • Debi (thedeb83)January 3, 2015 - 1:24 am

    Great post, very inspiring and thoughtful.ReplyCancel

  • Ilona @ Ilona's PassionJanuary 3, 2015 - 2:48 am

    Very interesting and encouraging post. Happy New Year!ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer | The Deliberate MomJanuary 3, 2015 - 2:52 am

    What a beautiful and divinely inspired post. I like your point that God wants us more than we could ever want Him… YES! It’s such a powerful truth.

    I loved your tips here. Pinning on my faith board.

    Wishing you a blessed weekend… and a Happy New Year!
    xoxoReplyCancel

  • Alana (@ I have a Future and a Hope)January 3, 2015 - 5:26 am

    I always have a little anxiety about starting a new year. One year I wrote a post about looking forward to the new year, and about 5 days later our world was turned upside down. So thank you for the reminder to seek God and see what he has in for us. It takes the fear out of the new year when we lay everything at his feet. Beautiful post!ReplyCancel

  • Tara JoyJanuary 3, 2015 - 8:59 am

    This is such truth, and really hit home for me! We don’t know what is coming in 2015 for our family with a possible move and me possibly going back to work. It is stressful, and worrisome BUT God is in control and I have no fear in him. I will be praying a lot this year to help me!ReplyCancel

  • JessicaJanuary 3, 2015 - 9:05 am

    Great post & Challenge!ReplyCancel

  • SarahJanuary 3, 2015 - 12:05 pm

    LOVE all of your pictures did you take them all yourself? They look amazing.ReplyCancel

  • AngelJanuary 3, 2015 - 12:56 pm

    Very good tips, especially number 3. I like the writing idea as well. I used to do that. The most important is reading the Bible, meditating on Scripture, and praying. God bless! I will be looking for your new series coming soon! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Jess ElyseJanuary 3, 2015 - 1:45 pm

    Great tips and encouragement! Can’t wait to see more of this series that is happening this month. Happy New Year!ReplyCancel

  • EileenJanuary 3, 2015 - 7:35 pm

    I love this post! I sometimes feel that I am an unworthy Christian. Only calling upon God when I need help. Lately, however, I have done more to help the less fortunate. Your post inspired me to be more feeling, more sensitive to the needs of others and not focus on me. Thank you for this great reminder.ReplyCancel

  • Hope N. GriffinJanuary 4, 2015 - 12:53 am

    A beautiful post. Thank you for sharing your heart. It was very inspiring and I’m looking forward to reading more!ReplyCancel

  • Heather B.January 4, 2015 - 1:09 am

    Just found your blog, and so happy I did! Will be subscribing so I don’t miss a post!ReplyCancel

  • Michelle WestbrookJanuary 4, 2015 - 3:19 am

    Love #3! That is something that I need to work on.ReplyCancel

  • Chris MalkemesJanuary 4, 2015 - 3:57 am

    Love these lines for they are so true: To put life into perspective, we must get to know our God. We were made for Him and by Him, and apart from Him life makes no sense.
    I’m visiting from Sunday Stillness. What you say in this post could be placed in many posts – it. is. that. powerful. You are a treasure! A masterpiece…Well done…. Blessings, my sweet sister in Christ, ~Chris~ReplyCancel

  • Martine - MeUnfinishedJanuary 4, 2015 - 1:51 pm

    I was particularly drawn to #2. It is an important point you are making about knowing who we are in God’s economy as a woman and how we are to lean on Him at all times to be fruitful. Thanks, great post!ReplyCancel

  • Jenny @ Women With IntentionJanuary 5, 2015 - 11:50 am

    I love #2 especially the thought provoking who are you when all the hustling and doing is stripped away. I think almost all women are defined by their tasks, family, etc. This is wonderful and thought provoking!

    I’d love for you to link-up on Women With Intention Wednesdays! 🙂ReplyCancel

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