Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Easiest, Almost-Not-Fair Resolution We're Dying For This Year

Blueberries swell inside vanilla cake batter, creeping higher in the square metal pan. The oven and refrigerator hiss and hum a rumbling life behind me. My family's voices lilt and lift throughout the house, readying for a New Year's Eve party out with church friends in an hour.
Photo: Mike, Creative Commons, cc license
Toppling on a pile of papers beside me, I see the dvd collection of a Bible study series by Beth Moore on First and Second Thessalonians. I've been binge-watching the last three episodes, racing to finish the messages before our church must pass them on to another group that has reserved them. In a Texan accent, Beth animatedly talks nodding-women-viewers through the last chapters of Thessalonians, and I scribble notes in my workbook, pausing to carefully spell out the occasional Greek words she displays on the screen.

And this is it, I can feel it. This hunger in my bones. If ever there was a resolution to be chased, this is it: To make consistent time to dig deeper in God's word; to sink deeper into a God who whispers his delight in us, his love for us, and his promise that he is enough; that we are made whole in him. 

In a world where men censor this fear behind mute mouths, and women whisper it in tremulous words to safe friends, the fear of Not Being Enough reigns high. Not being good enough, not being man enough or woman enough, not being the spouse or the parent you long to be -- the terms vary per person but the sentiments remain. The anxious, nagging lie sinks teeth deep into our hearts: You are not good enough. You must do more.

And we hear it, this push to Be More, to Do More, To Accomplish more. And you can, if you want to! I will cheer you on warmly. We all have goals and dreams, I agree.

But, if this anxious fearful lie has sunk its cold into your heart and spirit, sapping energy and hope, then it is not dream's vigor. It is not motivating or encouraging.

You are delighted in. You are loved, smiled at, desired, chased after, pursued, and wooed. You have a God who is running after you. Stop. Sink into his presence and his love for you. Find rest. 

This year, push aside the distractions, the voices. Grab your Bible and pen and slide into the Creator's presence. And me? I will be right there with you, pen in hand, nodding and scribbling to keep up.

13 comments:

Bill (cycleguy) said...

I sense within me a desire to dig deeper and to know more of God's grace in my life.

Jennifer Dougan said...

Me too, Bill. His undeserved kindness is amazing.

Happy New year,
Jennifer Dougan
www.jenniferdougan.com

Floyd said...

I can't think of better advice for anyone and any year. This season has taken me away from my normal studies and I miss it profoundly. I'll be there with you this year, Jennifer.

And I know that southern drawl from the videos you describe, and the scene of my wife, like you, doing those studies.

I'm praying blessings upon you and your family, Jennifer. Happy New Year!!!

Laura Boggess said...

Very good advice, my friend. This is the best resolution. So nice to meet up with you in this big world online. Praying many blessings to you in the new year.

Caleb Suko said...

This says it well Jennifer "the fear of Not Being Enough reigns high" Ultimately it seems to me that this fear stems from us not understanding completely who we already are in Christ.

Lisa notes... said...

Find rest and quit chasing more. Yes. Great words of wisdom here, Jennifer. Thank you, sister.

Ceil said...

Hi Jennifer! I like your definition of hope, and what is sapping hope too. If a dream is taking away joy, why stick with it? Or at least let some of the worry go...

I love that you feel so called to read more Scripture. And in a group format? I just love small groups! So intimate and encouraging. I pray that you will come closer to him day by day this shiny new year.
Nice to see you again :)
Ceil

Alecia Simersky said...

The not enough is such a stronghold I think we all deal with, I know I do daily. When the words come to my head, I'm glad I have scripture memorized to combat the lies.
The need to dig deeper, grow closer, I feel it too. Happy New Year, friend!

Cheryl Barker said...

Jennifer, rest is my theme word this year, and one of the ways I know I need to apply it is to rest in God's love and grace. So glad to see that message here, too!

Dolly@Soulstops said...

Jennifer,
Yes...so very true...sitting with you, my friend and listening to hear God speak His words of love ...we are enough in Him...Thank you...Happy New Year :-)

Simply Beth said...

Great words of wisdom! Blessings.

TC Avey said...

Learning who I am in Christ and how Christ views me is liberating. It's so easy to slip into a performance mentality...and when I do, I wonder, "Am I enough?"
God says, "YES". That's all I need to focus on.
He sees me through the blood of Christ, He sees all my imperfections and loves me anyway.
His love is amazing!

Brian Miller said...

the funny thing is, we dont have to work harder to meet that resolution...we can earn more...we only need to allow it...