Anytime I go away for a few days and spend some time with God, Satan is waiting around the corner ready to derail my spiritual high with trials and temptations. After the All In Retreat, I was hit with all sorts of trials over a course of a week. I like to say I deal with anxiety and stress pretty well. But I know the war Satan wages in me is in my thoughts. I’m such a deep thinker that it can really take my focus off of God and my mind will go all over the place and look for quick fixes to ease those thoughts.
The first time I recall truly hating Valentine’s Day was when I was a sophomore in college. I had been cheated on by two different boyfriends in a year’s time, and I felt the need to vent that anger to anyone who would listen! I remember rallying with my girlfriends to decorate black t-shirts sponge painted in white, pink, and red with messages like “My Valentine is Ben & Jerry’s,” “Kiss this Cupid,” or my personal favorite on my t-shirt reading “Happy Satan Day!” I donned my black t-shirt with its anti-love message for the world to see because on the inside, my heart had been broken one time too many. Each year as this day would come around, my heart grew darker and bleaker for everything this one day stood for. I let it steal my joy year after year, and I spread that darkness to those around me all in the name of heartbreak.
It’s January 2019! Before jumping in to make all those goals and resolutions, I think it’s awesome to reflect on what we want 2019 to represent, what we want this year to stand for.
To that effect, and in what’s become a yearly tradition of one of my favorite communities, Cornerstone church’s young professionals, my words of the year are…
So the new year is upon us. Everyone will be asking, “What’s your New Year’s resolution?” Saying things like “New year, new you!” And pressuring others around themselves to start a change and even bragging about their own deflating resolutions. The gym will be full of people throwing themselves into exercise effort’s to improve their health, kick off the holiday pounds, and miraculously find a way to get those abs showing instead of flab without actually making a permanent change.
So why make a New Years Resolution? Why go to all the trouble of thinking something up when your effort isn’t going to last? Why bother?
For some people November and December are magical months that just seem to defy gravity, their hearts feel lighter, a skip is added to each step, crisp air fills their lungs and their spirit soars above the heavens. They spread cheer and believe everything is a miracle.
But what are holidays like for the lonely, the broken, and discouraged? For a person who just can’t seem to catch a break, and life is slowly closing in on them. This is a season where financial, health, and family seem to work together to derail us from joy. The busy feeling of the hustle and bustle, agitated overworked retail workers near the breaking point, intensified family drama, and the loneliness that is amplified in every moment of this season that seems to stretch forever.
You may have heard the phrase “The straw that broke the Camel’s back” before. While that seems like a ridiculous notion, that something as light as a piece of straw could break anything, there is a breaking point for everything. Camels are known for being able to travel long distances in the harsh desert, and even carry burdens as large as 1000 pounds on its back. A wise owner of any creature is careful to keep it from being overburdened or overworked, but a foolish or unknowledgeable owner might overestimate the Camel’s physical capabilities.