Shannon was well dressed with proper grooming; I was sure Shannon had it all together. She was a top executive at a major bank and she lived in an affluent neighbourhood. Things were going really well for her… or so I thought. Recently, we had a chat about 2016… it was all woes. It was through this chat that she exposed her feelings of total helplessness.
On this wonderful day, Shannon opened up to me. To her, 2016 had been a disastrous year. She confessed she had no expectations going into 2016. She took each day as it came, as there were so many things to do all at once. She explained to me that work was demanding and frustrating and on the home front, she was overwhelmed with the children, house chores and cooking. She had a whole list of things she would love to do, but had no time. Time for Shannon was like an obstacle. To state things bluntly, she was not looking forward to 2017.
“Life has become routine, what is there to look forward to?”
Silently, I knew that hope for a better tomorrow is what she needed. I persuaded her to believe that there is always a bright light at the end of the tunnel. I told her my story.
There was a time in my life that all I could think of was how to balance the different priorities competing for my attention. My greatest desire was to get a job from a specific employer. It felt as though that was the remaining piece of the puzzle to make my life complete. Fast-forward to a few years later, I found myself wanting more. From one job offer, to an all-expense paid getaway with my husband, followed by a family vacation, then a brand new, fully paid for jeep. I still felt that something was missing. I wondered if it would ever stop.
So, I engaged on a quest to discover what it would really take for my life’s puzzle to be complete. What it would take to have a life full of distinction in every sphere to the admiration of others.
It was right there, after telling my story that something wonderful happened. The vulnerability of one to another brings healing in a way that cannot be described but only felt. The healing I got years ago came flooding in, as a gift to a hurting and confused soul. Within minutes, a broken vessel was connecting with another and the aroma it brought was soothing to the soul. Regardless of the unpleasant odour of lack of purpose and hopelessness, there is an aroma of grace and love to start again.
I found grace years ago, so I could speak to Shannon about it. The grace and love that is found in my Saviour as He continually assures me of His plan, which is to bring hope in the midst of despair.
11 For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11) (NKJV)
The grandfather clock in my living room jolted me back to the present, as I heard it tick loudly. It was 12 midnight and it will be 12 midnight again, on another night, as we cross from 2016 to 2017. I wondered what 2017 would be like.
How will I spend the time given to me in 2017? I realized that a random sequence of events is based on chance and life cannot be lived that way; it must be a well-planned event. Planning a whole year can be daunting, so I broke it down into steps.
In my quest for living life as a planned and not a random sequence of events, I discovered these 7 things and I urge you to look into them for the upcoming year.
- Understand your person, know who you are in Christ: I focused on my strength, then built and planned on it. Daily communication with my Saviour is my lifeline, so I took it seriously.
- Plan your life and keep a journal: I took time to plan my life. I made a detailed plan of my priorities, I took responsibility and with the help of God, my life is not left to chance. I have a list of what I want to do in 2017. Planning that leads to success is not a casual event, so I am deliberate in my planning. Make 2017 a planned event!
- Do not limit your dream: My Dreams are wide, my dreams are big! Your dream does not have to be realistic, but your plans must be. My plans are well written down in my journal, sometimes not in detail, but as far as I can dream. My plans are also actionable and time bound.
- Roll up your plans to God and let Him breathe on them so that they can be established: I pray over my plan, daily. I give my plan to God and also hear His plan for me.
- Do not live in the future: I live in the now. I appreciate what I have now while I dream and plan for tomorrow. Remember: Faith is now, Hope is the future Click To Tweet.
- Believe that your written plans shall be done. My desires on paper are always accomplished. I believe what I say will take place, and it does.
- Think! Think! Think positive thoughts: As a man thinks, so is he (Proverbs 23:7). Your life cannot go beyond your thought pattern. Your thoughts will either elevate you or play a key role in your downfall.