I tend to write on any page in my diary. I only write the date of my entry and then the start. And as the new year is approaching, I have a story.
Yesterday as I scrolled through the random pages to settle on an empty page to write on, I stopped at a page dated 28/12/18, precisely one year ago as per yesterday’s date. I had gone for a prayer retreat of three days seeking the Lord on some issues, and I had clearly written a couple of prayer items that I needed the Lord to answer in the coming year. Those items were about ten in number.
The Power of Writing Down Your Prayers and Goals
One year later, those prayer items looked at me as if in mockery; nothing had been answered. I literally sat on my bed and cried. I cried because I was disappointed. I cried because another year was approaching, yet the things I wanted to be done were not even done. I cried; I had placed an order because I felt I deserved those things.
The benefits of having a written record of your prayers and plans
Is there any need to write it down on paper? Why do I have to put it down on paper, only for them to remind me that nothing happened?
As most preachers will tell us on the eve of a new year is that 2020 is our year; our year of greatness, success, prosperity, joy, health, life, and any good thing that comes with it. Whether they tell us out of good motive or not, I do not know.
These are all good things, and people want to hear good things. Someone said, “Africans are notoriously religious people, ” and we’ll all see that on the eve of 2020 as our churches will be packed with people longing to hear what sayeth the Lord for 2020.
The Value of Brokenness and Solitude
Nothing answered, but that doesn’t mean my year was miserable. It was a bittersweet kind of year. Sometime in the year, I experienced pain, and my heart was broken, and I was a mess, stumbled, and disappointed. Literally, everything contrary to my prayers happened this year.
As the song says, “in the crushing in the breaking, you are making new wine” this year has been one of getting perspective and getting things right with God. It has been a year of brokenness and mending, pain and relief. It has been one of solitude, but in the solitude, I could hear Him without distractions.
Understanding how God works through suffering and difficulties
In isolation, He could mend my wounds without me telling Him that I was busy. I could really listen to Him without thinking that this word is for sister so or brother so, in the solitude, I could see the depravity of mankind and that man, in the absence of God, has no limits when it comes to sin. My solitude showed me how far I had gone from Him, professing faith and yet doing the contrary.
How our plans and prayers can reflect our desires rather than God’s will
I realized my plans for the year were filled with things to do, not disciplines to cultivate. The doing rather than being. My plans were filled with things I wanted the Lord to do for me, not what the Lord wanted to be done through me, and most importantly, not what the Lord wanted to do with me in 2019. My prayer items were so much banked on my taking and never giving. It was banked on me speaking but never hearing, listening to the Lord.
The importance of quieting our minds to hear God’s voice this year
As I continued looking at each prayer item I had brought before the Lord last year and crying, the cry stopped being one of disappointment and unmet expectations but that of Joy. It was my year after all, broken or not, it sure was mine because I, unlike many who are dead today, lived, I lived, I fought, I fell, my heart ached, I cried, I hurt alright, but I, above all, lived.
There was never once in the year 2019 that I felt the absence of God, maybe when there was sin consciousness and guilt and shame. Even in these, there was that still small voice cheering. Even as I analyzed my prayer items more keenly, I realized that He had answered, not in the way I would have wanted the answers to be. I had asked that He will be done and not mine.
So I agree with the preachers on one thing, 2019 was my year. I may disagree with how it was mine.
Making Room for God to Lead this year
It is excellent to declare things in the new year. Still, it is even more remarkable to let Jesus take the wheel in the year, that in as much as we have plans because the bible recommends it, let’s most importantly surrender to the Lord and allow Him to edit where need be. Let us make room for Him to allure us.
I am so eagerly waiting for 2020 in the place of prayer. I have tons of prayer items too. I am writing them word by word, and most importantly, I am leaving room for the Lord, and in 2020, I want to be His year. Whether He answers all the prayer items or not, I will write them. Because 2020 again is my year y’all. Happy new year.