Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Surrendering My 2020 Vision

Sisters, how are y’all feeling? Brothers, are y’all alright? Merry Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa...whichever holiday(s) you and yours celebrate, I hope the season has been good to you. Listen, I know it’s been awhile since we’ve talked, but life (and grad school) took up a lot of my time. Now that winter break is upon us, I’m back to blogging.

Image source: Getty, via Forbes

Usually when I take a break from blogging, it’s because of creative burnout. I either let the numbers get to me, or I just feel like I don’t have anything to say at the moment. This last hiatus, however, was different—and intentional. While this pause was primarily to focus on grad school, I also needed to take some time to dream with God and tell Him what I want to do for His Kingdom. I was recently given Michelle Obama’s memoir, Becoming, as a gift, and I plan to use this word as my mantra for 2020. I haven’t started reading the book just yet, but the title alone has inspired me to try to figure out who/what He wants me to become. I’ve always heard people allude to Habakkuk 2:2, the Scripture that reads, “Write the vision and make it plain.” I had my own ideas about who I thought God was calling me to be, so I’d write down all the things I wanted to accomplish and then include if it be Your will as an afterthought. The problem was, I allowed my thoughts to “talk over” His voice—that is, until I read the verse above in context. 

Habakkuk, the man that this particular book is named for, is a prophet. He asks God, “GOD, how long do I have to cry out for help before you listen? [...] Why do you force me to look at evil, stare trouble in the face day after day” (Habakkuk 1:2-3, MSG)? Habakkuk is frustrated because all he sees around him is danger, death, and destruction, and he can’t understand why it seems like God isn’t doing anything about it. Angrily, he asks, “Why are you silent now? This outrage! Evil men swallow up the righteous and you stand around and watch” (Habakkuk 1:13 MSG)! Personally, I can’t tell you how many times this year I’ve been angry at God, how many times I’ve cried out to Him and felt like He wasn’t hearing me, and wasn’t trying to do anything to change my situation. At a point, I even asked Him, “God, why does it seem so easy for other people to get ahead while I’m struggling?” Nothing made sense to me until I read Habakkuk 2:2 again. 

This time, I studied the Contemporary English version, “Then the Lord told me: ‘I will give you my message in the form of a vision. Write it clearly enough to be read at a glance.’ The MSG version says, “Write it out in big block letters so that it can be read on the run.” Just as God spoke to Habakkuk, He spoke to me as I read. He said, “Remember that assignment you keep picking up and putting down? That was My idea. Don’t abandon what I gave you.” So, I purposely got quiet so I could hear what He has to say about my goals. And then came the revelation: I’ve been writing the vision and making it plain right here on this blog. That’s why my tag line is, “Where music is diversified, message is simplified, and Christ is glorified.” My purpose is to simplify His message so that His people can read it on the run...as they run towards Him!

And the Contemporary English version clarified it even further, “At the time I have decided, my words will come true. You can trust what I say about the future. It may take a long time, but keep on waiting— it will happen” (Habakkuk 2:3)! The moral of the story is that our hopes and dreams do matter to God. He considers us in His plans because we are the vessels that He uses to carry out those plans. The vision for our lives is His and not our own. That’s why it’s important to take everything to Him in prayer and make sure to get His stamp of approval.

Daring to dream with God means surrendering our vision to Him, trusting that He can see what we can’t. We can rest in knowing that if He said it, it WILL happen—but only when He says it’s time. While I wait, I’m challenging myself to hold on to what I know He promised me. I hope you’ll do the same. Let’s BECOME together. Happy New Year!