Ready for 2020? In vision terms, 2020 is perfect, clear vision. Over the next few days, as the old year closes and the new year bursts into view, what would happen if you took time for yourself to ponder the happenings over the last year? Looking backwards to go forwards often brings clarity, especially when that time is spent in conversations with God. Here are three possible ways to be ready for 2020 and develop more clear vision.
One of the dictionary definitions of release is:
to relieve from something that confines, burdens, or oppresses
As you walk forward into the new year, what burdens, oppressions or perhaps even sorrows do you need to release?
While not an easy process, releasing is a healthy one. In the Bible, there is a whole book about releasing called Lamentations. That particular book is written about the desolation of the city of Jerusalem, presumably by the prophet, Jeremiah. As you read through that book, it’s hard to imagine everything the people went through.
As is true right now, in many ways, it’s hard to imagine what many people are experiencing, in family relationships, job losses, health issues, loss of loved ones, even the political scene.
Lamentations 3:17-26 NLT has a great outline for to offer up lamenting prayers:
First, tell God how you feel – all emotions:
17 Peace has been stripped away,
and I have forgotten what prosperity is.
18 I cry out, “My splendor is gone!
Everything I had hoped for from the Lord is lost!”
19 The thought of my suffering and homelessness
is bitter beyond words.*
20 I will never forget this awful time,
as I grieve over my loss.
II. Then. remember who you are praying to:
21 Yet I still dare to hope
when I remember this:
22 The faithful love of the Lord never ends!*
His mercies never cease.
23 Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning.
III. Finally, end in praise and hope….
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance;
therefore, I will hope in him!”
25 The Lord is good to those who depend on him,
to those who search for him.
26 So it is good to wait quietly
for salvation from the Lord.
Lamenting doesn’t change what you are going through but it does release your emotions to God. It is a way to realize that He is sovereign over everything, which can bring hope.
As you review your year, what do you need to lament and release?
After lamenting anything from 2019, you can look for the gifts of 2019. Lamenting might have given you the gift of hope. However, as you look back over the months, month by month, what else have you received from Him this year?
For example, I have received the gift of gratitude, even when things were not as I had envisioned. A friend of mine and I have been writing back and forth daily about where we have seen gratitude in our lives. It truly has been a gift, both of her willingness to be accountable as well as a way to see all the ways He is active in my life.
My word of the year was Be Fully Present and these daily writings have allowed me to receive what has been occurring in my day, especially in the relationships around me.
Take a walk through your year, month by month and pause to reflect on the gifts received from each month. This is David’s reminder from the Psalm 103:1-2 NLT
Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me.
What did you receive this year, perhaps that was unexpected, even from a pain source? Often times God can show up in a pain source unexpectedly bearing gifts.
Word of the Year
Finally a third way to be ready for 2020 you may want to consider is a word for the year. A word of the year sets you up for focus and clarity.. This word of the year has no magical or spiritual powers, except that it is often a way that God gets your attention and focus. Your brain is wired to focus and a word of the year does help do that. I have chosen a word, or a word has chosen me for the last four years. I have found it encouraging to see how that word message weaves it way into my life and conversations with God throughout the year.
Here are some things to consider when choosing a word for the year:
- Go to God in prayer and ask Him to show you what your word might be. My experience has been that a word will “shimmer” to you and begin to show up multiple times in a variety of places.
- You may be puzzled over the word that shows up. It make take several days for you to settle on a word. Two years ago, my word was Unstoppable. I was a little chagrined over that word, as it felt pompous and over the top. However, 2018 was definitely an Unstoppable year, as I served as pastoral support for Urbana 18 and got published in two book collections. God knew what the year would be like!
- After your word is chosen, find the dictionary definition of it and write it down. You may want to find some synonyms of it as well. If appropriate, do a Bible search of your word and see how it is used in the Bible. My word for 2020 is prepare – make ready is how I am looking at that word. I am not sure what I am to prepare for… so I am in the wondering state right now. It brings wonder and anticipation to my 2020 year.
- Make yourself a little sign of your word so you can see it each day and smile in anticipation of what God has in store. Look for ways your word is entering your life. My word for 2019 was Be Fully Present and I learned how to fully present through my grandchildren, noticing the world through their eyes
- Finally, offer up your word in praise and thanksgiving, over what you and God will do together in 2020.
Time To Retreat to Reflect
Now it is your turn. Three ways to get ready for 2020’s perfect clear vision can include releasing burdens through lamenting, receiving through gratitude and getting focused and clear through a word of the year.
I encourage you to take some solitude and stillness reflection time, and review 2019 so that you can go into 2020 released and refreshed.
Happy New Year!
Nancy Booth wants to create safe spaces for you, helping you find ways to have two-way conversations with God. She loves encouraging you to look for ways He is at work. Nancy is a spiritual director and writer. She would love to accompany you on your journey of discovery to hear and see more of the God who delights in you. Peace, hope and freedom could be yours Contact her today..