I’m saying goodbye to 2015 a little differently. While it was by far the most amazing year of my life and I have thanked the Lord thousands of times for his blessings, I’m simply going to make a confession tonight then embrace the new year without looking back (well…you may see one or two more Uganda posts 😉 ).
God has brought to my attention something which I believe will totally change the way I keep up this blog in the future. I’m not moving into 2016 without voicing this, so here it goes…
I’m generally an open person. If you take the time to get past shallow, small talk I’ll tell you what I’m really walking through. Anyone could tell you that I get very excited about happy and beautiful things (who doesn’t?) yet at the same time I don’t hide my struggles, pretend that I have my act together or try to convince people that my world is a perfect fairytale. Trust me, I it’s NOT…but, life is good.
Blogging on the other hand is just a tad different… I’ve never been a very public person online. I typically don’t expand on personal matters here on Left My Heart in Africa or anywhere else, and probably never will. Even so, choosing this approach shouldn’t keep me from being wholly honest in what I do choose to publish.
And so this is what I’m extremely convicted about: the fact that until now I’ve only shared the attractive side of my journey.
There’s nothing I enjoy more than sharing the beauty, the sunshine, all the joyful victories and successes from my missionary journey and whatever else I feel led to write about. You’ve seen the photos and read the testimonies….there’s no denying that storytelling that way is a good thing. Updates like that warm our hearts and increase our excitement about what God is doing. Yet just as naturally as I bubble over with positivity, I shy away from writing about the hard stuff: the needs, struggles, limitations and valleys.
There’s a quote I see in my Pinterest feed every so often which says “be fearlessly authentic”. I like the way it sounds, but I have to question myself, am I really living it? To be fearless you have to say yes to boldness. To be authentic you must embrace the truth. Right now I do not live like a fearlessly authentic woman. I have painted a very unrealistic picture of my journey by cowering away in fear, telling only half the truth (only the lovely side) to avoid opening up and sharing the ways God moves in the less than pleasant times. It’s wrong in so many ways. Will you forgive me for being so selfish?
I understand now that God takes brokenness and struggle and makes them into beautiful things. Just look at the Acholi people! They have endured years of hardship and tragedy yet God has used that awful situation to showcase His love and power to restore and bring hope to Uganda. He can do the same in my own dark times…on the days when I feel homesick, or when goals aren’t met, or there’s disappointment over a breakthrough that didn’t happen, or in the spiritually dry seasons.
God is teaching me to live and write truth. All of it. That doesn’t mean I’m gonna sit here and document my every downfall, but it does mean that I will give a real representation of what this journey looks like, both highs and lows. I truly desire to be obedient to Christ in every area of life, both private and public. Anything that brings Him the fullest glory is my mission. Leading up to today I haven’t given Him the chance to be most glorified in my life because I’ve withheld half the story.
So I guess this is a resolutions post after all. One thing I resolve to improve on in the new year is the way I share His story. I am going to invest time and energy to document His work well and communicate it honestly so that He will receive even more praise (Psalm 102:18). Then I’m going to celebrate the fullness of this gift of life and the freedom I have to live every single second of it for Him.
Whew! It’s nice to have that out there 🙂 .
Friends, are you making any New Years goals? They take time to plan, I know, but may I encourage you to set a few for yourself? I’ll be praying God lays some challenging things on your heart to stir you to seek Him like never before and help mold you more into His image, like He has for me. Here are a few other goals I’ve jotted down in the spiritual growth category:
- Draw near to God (James 4:8; Jeremiah 29:13).
- Reestablish a routine quiet time at 6:30am (Psalm 143:8).
- Start journaling again as a means of seeking growth during devotional time, prayer, and recording daily events and questions (2 Peter 3:18).
- Become fearlessly authentic (John 8:32). I want to live in the freedom of the Truth!
- Be content in this God-appointed season where I can serve Him with undivided devotion (1 Corinthians 7:34-35).
- Build a community that partners together to advance the Kingdom (Hebrews 10:24-25).
- Explore a new word/theme in 2016…….coming soon!
May Jesus Christ be glorified!
I love you, sweet people! Praying for you and passing hugs around tonight ❤ . Happy New Year!!