HINDSIGHT IS 2020

Within your heart you can make plans for your future, but the Lord chooses the steps you take to get there. -Proverbs 16:9 9 TPT

Hindsight is 2020 — literally — this year.

Looking back at the past decade can give so much insight into how to prayerfully walk into the new decade ahead. When we look back, we can see God’s thread of faithfulness through every season and step. Even the hard ones. Especially the joyful ones. And the ones that turned out better than we could have planned. And He’s still working. Yes, today — tomorrow — and the next! He goes before us to prepare a way. We can plan our futures in our hearts, but he Lord directs our steps into the future. God makes us able to live our lives — God alone. These words from Proverbs take the pressure off of new years resolutions and plans for the future in the dawn of a new decade. We don't have to have it all together.

Now that we’re over a week into the new year, how’s your new year “plan” going? Is it as great or as easy as you thought it would be to follow? Maybe, maybe not. Regardless, here's some pretty great news: Every single moment (successful and abandoned resolutions included) rests safely in God’s hands. And He gives us more and more grace. Now that is the kind of plan I want to pursue in this new year. One of grace and abiding. Planning (and dreaming!) are not bad at all — I am a planner at heart — but the space between our plans and the outcomes are designed to be a faith walk with God. He knows our needs more than we can begin to understand. Sometimes, when our perceived needs and plans take new shape, God is gently (or sometimes radically) molding us to be more like Him. And in the end? The plan we made may be similar or totally different, but the path to get there shines of God’s woven faithfulness — perhaps when we could not see but one thread at a time. All the while He was working.

Sometimes we may feel like God works slowly. Pastor Joel at my church said that once. Looking back over the past 10 years of my life I see a collective movement, though some years were fast and some days were so. incredibly. slow. Across state lines — from middle school, high school, college, and post grad — God was on the move with me along for the ride. Think about the last 10 years of your life too. Do you see a collective movement?

And His mission? My heart and your heart — us. Beyond our plans, God is after our hearts. He always has been, and He always will be. So give all your plans to the Lord in this new year. He gives us the strength we need to trust and wait for Him. God weaves thread into our paths so we can always find our way home to Him. Threads that give us a chance to look back and marvel at His faithfulness.

What threads has the Lord woven into your path? It could be people, songs, experiences, lessons, places, passions, trials, verses. How would your year be different if you took time to reflect and let those threads bring you back to God? When you look back on 2020, what will hindsight show you? Those questions help shape my approach to this year and the threads I want to hold close.

As you might guess, writing is one of my threads. It’s a tether that keeps my soul grounded in the Lord’s promises. Writing reminds me to rest and reflect as God renews my soul — to trust Him even if I can’t outline His plan from beginning to end.

A PRAYER FOR 2020

Lord, in this new year we come to you with every piece of our lives. You see it all — You saw each of us before we took our first breath. We praise You because You make our lives complete when we place every piece before You. You hold them all in Your hands — You carry us. We are thankful for a new year and decade with new beginnings — new opportunities — new adventures. 2020 is a year brimming with hope and unknown. Help us remember and hold fast to Your Word, Your promises — knowing there is a time for everything — both planting and harvesting. Right now might feel a lot like planting and waiting. Help our hearts abide in You through it all, for there is something new beginning to grow. Like winter branches, we wait for the first spring leaf buds to bloom. You are not only our Gardener but our Shepherd — bringing us continually back to you. You are our safe place, our constant, our home no matter where we go on this side of heaven. Even when we can’t see around the next bend, we trust You because You go before us to make a way. So we can rest in the shadow of Your wings because You renew our strength there. Let it all be to the praise of Your glory, Lord! This decade is just beginning.

Amen

These photos were graciously taken by the ever-talented Meghan Murphy Gray. She is one of those threads of friendship the Lord has woven into my path. Give her some love here!

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