It’s a new year, but somehow it feels no different.
On top of the circumstances, situations and feelings you'd think would have left in 2017, the new year comes with new worries… New doubts… New fears.
I was so ready to leave 2017 in the past too, with all of its disappointments and struggles, relationships, career choices, family conflicts… all of it. If there was a button that could have erased 2017 from my memory, I would have hit it in a heartbeat.
Was 2017 a tough year for anyone else?
To add to the disappointments, I had all of these high expectations for what 2018 would bring. When the clock struck midnight and January 1st, 2018 was finally here, I expected a new me to appear.
I expected a “new me” that was confident, bold, wise and strong.
Yet, here I am… Still struggling with the same doubts and fears, all the while adding new struggles daily!
These struggles look like: Trying to make “big girl” decisions, like buying a new car (and the struggle is real). Trying not to panic that I could be traded or even released with not a single day’s notice from my professional team. Hoping and praying I’m married before my dad needs a walker to walk me down the aisle and he’s still around when I finally get to start a family of my own.
I know the last one mentioned sounds silly, but it’s real to me. And I know each one of you reading this has a quote unquote “silly worry” that people will never understand, but is very real to you.
We’re human, and trying to manage broken feelings in a broken world seems near impossible!
I want to share a few things that I’ve learned in the first few weeks of the New Year:
First of all, I wasn’t wrong in hoping for a “new me” in the New Year, I was just wrong in how I expected it to happen. As with everything in life, effort is necessary. Yet for some reason, I expected a new me to emerge with no effort required.
Thank goodness for Jesus during my times of utter stupidity. For His love, His mercy, and His patience.
It is okay if you are wanting to grow! This is good. But everything is a process.
If there’s one thing I know it’s that God is good. My fears and doubts and worries may try and hide that truth from me from time to time, but just because I forget it, doesn’t mean it’s not true.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).
Instead of choosing a New Year's Resolution, I have chosen 3 words to be my New LIFE's Resolution.
At the end of the day, if I want to be the “me” that God has always intended me to be, then there are three words that I’m wholeheartedly striving to instill in my life. Not just this New Year, but for my entire life. So, I’m not calling them my new years resolutions, but my new life resolutions.
The words you ask?
Peace, Patience, and Trust.
Do you remember the list of words I began this whole article with? Worry, doubt, and fear. Those words might actually be the antonyms for peace, patience, and trust! Yet these three words: peace, patience, and trust, in some form or another, are used roughly 630 times in scripture. If that’s not a reminder from the Lord of how important these attributes are in your walk with Him, I don’t know what is.
I believe Isaiah 26:3 says it best:
He keeps those who trust in Him in perfect peace. Not just peace, but perfect peace. And to stay steadfast requires patience. Patience to stay the course even when you can’t see what’s coming ahead.
So my prayer, for both you and I, and not just for 2018 but for the rest of our lives, is that we learn to remain patient, especially in the waiting, and to experience His perfect peace because our trust is in Him and Him alone.
My Name is Jaelene Hinkle and I’m a born and raised Coloradan. I started playing soccer at the age of four and eventually went on to play collegiately at Texas Tech University. I currently play professionally for the North Carolina Courage and have spent time with the US National Team. Even through the ups and downs, I am beyond grateful for this sport and both the challenges and victories it has brought to me in life. I am so passionate about other athletes, both men and women, and helping them see that God is so very good, even beyond the time we get to spend on the field. When I’m not playing, I enjoy traveling and being home with my family and my dog Tucker.