With the new year being only a few days away I have found myself thinking about New Year’s Resolutions. There’s a part of me that actually hates the new year’s resolution bandwagon, I have even written about it in the past. My qualm with it is that I feel like life changes should not be limited solely to the start of a new year. Each day is a new day and an opportunity for a new beginning. Or I even like the concept of making a change at the beginning of each month. But I digress… I, despite these opinions, have found myself contemplating a new year resolution for the year of 2017.
Over the course of the last 2 weeks I have been quite the sour-puss grumpy pants – sorry friends and family who dealt with my antics, I love you all the more for loving me through those moments of weakness. And mind you, I was miserably sick, and I don’t get sick often so when I do it tends to knock me down pretty good. And I was feeling salty about being single, simply for the fact that I never thought I would be single at this point in my life… well and there were some factors that added to the saltiness. Any-who, Sick, salty, and feeling quite impatient because of playing the waiting game to take my boards so I can add the letters RN to my name, but it’s fine – or as I said once the anger passed “it is what it is”.
As I was thinking about this potential new year resolution, I realized just how much of a sour-puss grumpy pants I have been lately and realized that I don’t want to be like that. I want to be able to rejoice and celebrate my friends and their good news. I want to rejoice like I did when my friend Kara got engaged – she was out of state when she got engaged but we(my roommates and I) went to the store and bought a bottle of champagne to celebrate her engagement… I want to be that again. I want to find joy in the little and big things in daily life. My life is quite simple, and as I said I feel like I’m playing the waiting game pretty intensely right now, but I shouldn’t wish this time away. I shouldn’t be bitter over my friends joys because I’m not there yet, or it’s not my time yet when it comes to the relationship category…(I do recognize there is a lot of good, a lot of joy and a lot worth celebrating in my life).
I once said that I try to make it my goal in life to bring joy in all I do, but I have been failing myself in this. So as the new year, as a new month is kicking off I’m going to focus on joy and trusting acceptance.
I’m currently re-reading/re-praying through Consoling the Heart of Jesus by Fr Mike Gaitley (it’s seriously so good, read it). Fr Mike talks a lot about having an attitude of Joy and Trusting Acceptance. Because it is our trust that consoles the heart of Jesus most and it is our distrust that breaks the heart of Jesus most — which if you think about it makes sense, but that’s for another day.. Basically, Fr Mike sets up that choosing to be joyful and choosing to have an attitude of trusting acceptance of all the happenings in life is almost key to living a faithful Christian life.
Joy is really the mark of a Christian. But what is joy? I did some google-ing and here’s what I found:
Joy is a state of mind and an orientation of the heart. It is a settled state of contentment, confidence and hope.
Joy is a state of mind and an orientation of the heart. When our hearts are oriented toward the Lord, we are able to be joyful because we recognize that there is something worth living for that is greater than ourselves.
Fr. Mike describes trustful acceptance as one simply offering themselves to God with confidence and accept everything with praise and thanksgiving, seeing all as coming from God’s loving, fatherly hands. Essentially, the goal we’re striving towards is allowing nothing to disturb us and continually praising and thanking God for everything. And I mean EVERYTHING – even the hard stuff. The cancer diagnosis, the unexpected accidents, the unexpected deaths, the use and abuse we may experience in this life… knowing that sometimes the only way the good Lord can enter into our hearts is for them to be broken.
I know the times in my life where I have felt the most broken are the times when I have grown closer to the Lord. Yes, with my initial conversion story, the brokenness I experienced just before entering into full communion with the Catholic church played a huge role in me becoming the woman I am. But even as I’ve continued to grow in my faith, the times when I feel the most broken, the most used, the weakest, the most beaten down are the times I can look back and see that I experienced the greatest growth. Even this past semester, there were many trials and challenges that came quite unexpectedly, and for the majority of the semester I opted to be the obstinate, headstrong woman that I am and tried muscling my way through and just “man-powering it”. But the other week there was a particular instance where I suppose you could say I was pushed over the edge… where I mistakenly reached out, in a friendly manner, to an old friend and ended feeling dirty and used because of how he spoke to me. BUT that experience caused me to run to the arms of mercy. It lead me to realize just how much I not only needed Jesus but how desperately I wanted Him – his steadfastness, his gentleness, his mercy, his love.
As I reflected on all of this I realize now, just how much I need a change, and a goal in this particular time in my life. And a goal that would continue to direct me to leaning more and more into the Lord and into His grace.
So here’s to something new – here’s to giving new year’s resolutions a shot, here’s to choosing JOY and trusting acceptance that I am where I am supposed to be, and that God’s hand is present in my life.