With 2013 nearing its close, Gladys Famoriyo reminds readers to celebrate their successes, not to be too phased by their failures, and to make their plans for 2014
As the year comes to a close and a New Year dawns, this season is a great time to take stock of the departing year and to assess how far you have come. I don’t know about you, but this year has had its peaks and troughs. Yet, I am sincerely grateful I have made it this far. Throughout the year, we hear of the passing on of people we know, or the personal challenges others face. Such news helps us to put things into perspective, especially when we get insular in our views. Yet, when we take a step back, we realise we have much to be thankful for, and we are indeed blessed.
Take A Moment To Reflect
OK, so you might not be where you would like to be, but the fact is you are here. Some aren’t! So I encourage you to take a moment to reflect. To assist you with this, ask yourself: “How far have I come since last year?” Now, before you start feeling guilty for not accomplishing the 101 items on your resolutions list, take a pause for a moment. Too often, we spend so much time focusing on the things we did not get done or the negatives, that we never appreciate how far we have actually come, or what we have achieved, much less celebrate them. Whilst I am not excusing procrastination, lack of determination, laziness and the like, I am suggesting you adopt a balanced view. Shift your focus from the negatives, and balance it out by reviewing the positives.
Give Thanks In All Things
Just in case you are wondering what to be appreciative to God for, here are some situations some of us find ourselves in.
You set out at the beginning of the year to lose four stones and so far you have lost two. Whilst you have not achieved your end goal, you are already seeing its positive impact on your health, and you are two dress sizes smaller. That’s a reason to celebrate, as you are making progress.
You did not get the ‘dream job’ you were short-listed for, despite doing your absolute best. Have you thought perhaps that this has been a blessing in disguise? Could a better opportunity be around the corner? I believe that when one door closes, another opens. What do you believe?
Perhaps you are still single, or your engagement was broken off; might these both be a cause for celebration? Who knows what God has saved you from? Whilst all may seem doom and gloom, especially as time seems to be flying past, there is still hope. It ain’t over yet!
All these circumstances warrant a thankful heart. As the Bible implores us, we are to give thanks for where we are, in spite of what we are going through. When we don’t, there is a tendency to develop an attitude of ingratitude. And that irritates God.
Count Your Blessings
Therefore, with this in mind, why not take a moment to really count your blessings. Take a trip down memory lane, like David did in Psalm 42. Remind yourself of the great things God has done physically, spiritually, emotionally, financially, professionally and even in your relationships. It could even be for the intangible things that cannot be easily quantified, such as feeling less stressed, or experiencing more joy and peace regardless of your situation. Again, these are all worth celebrating.
Plan For The New Year
Once you’re done with your celebration party, now consider the areas you did not get the results you wanted. Consider what may have contributed to this, in particular, those reasons that were within your power to change. The purpose of doing this is to gain an understanding of what held you back. This is not to encourage a ‘beat yourself down’ session, but rather to promote internal reflection. This is akin to holding up a mirror and taking a good look at yourself, with the aim of gaining greater self-awareness and making the necessary changes. For instance, are your unaccomplished goals a result of poor planning or of having no plan at all? You would be amazed how many of us have great ideas, dreams and goals, yet fail to put in place a realistic plan to get us there. The fact is, faith with no works is dead. And so, you need to take action.
Press On Ahead
If you are waiting for circumstances to change, I have news for you: you may find yourself waiting a lifetime. So, you might as well press on ahead. Don’t get caught in the circumstances around you, or else you will NEVER move forward! Acknowledge it. Better still, bring it before God, then step out in faith, trusting Him each step of the way. Whatever you do, keep moving, periodically reviewing your plan in line with your goal. If you are struggling, find like-minded people to connect with. As the saying goes, Birds of a feather flock together. So you may want to ponder on your relationships.
In closing, I implore you to create some ‘me time’ during this transition season to really reflect on the year you are leaving and the year ahead. Better still, start planning for the changes you would like to see, or else someone else will make those plans for you.
For more details of Gladys Famoriyo’s ministry, visit www.gladysf.com or call 0870 750 1969