That’s my one word for this year 2016.
I deeply desire to live a life for Jesus alone. To be undistracted by the myriad of things, comforts, opportunities, relationships, and time-wasters that pull my thoughts and energies away from serving Him alone. From trusting Jesus above all else. From adoring only Him.
For the past three years I have been consumed much by the grief of losing my precious mom. Grief has this power to overtake your thoughts, drain your energies, consume your passions, and fuel your anxieties. Deep grief has driven me closer to my Savior in so many ways, but grief has totally distracted me.
One of my prayers for 2016 is to live undistracted from the consuming grief. I realize that grief is not a button to be pushed “on” and “off.” Grief has a timetable of its own. Grief overtakes suddenly at times and wraps its tendrils around your soul rather slowly on other days. But I no longer want to be distracted by the emotions and fears that can easily accompany grief. I desire to “rise above” the darkness of grief and live more fully in the light of today! I am eager to embrace the wonderful gift of life in the present and move away from the longings for my past.
My memories of my sweet mom will forever reside in a special place of my heart. But, I fully believe God is urging me forward to a new season of “undistracted” living for Him! Would you pray with me in this area of my life?
I also long to live undistracted and engage fully in the lives of my family. Honestly, it’s so much easier to scroll through Facebook, check out the latest Instagram, or read the words of a favorite blogger rather than fully engage in the opportunities for playing, reading, talking, and embracing those closest to my heart. I’ve recognized that one of the dangers of grief is the tendency to isolate and withdraw to my own world. I am asking God to help me live undistracted from those things that seek to claim my attention within my own home.
God has given me the awesome responsibility and privilege to rear five strong warriors for Jesus Christ and His glory. I want to “make it my aim to please Him” (2 Cor. 5:9) and give my full attention and time to my husband and children. I want to live undistracted!
Thirdly, I desire to live undistracted from the anxieties that easily threaten to cloud my trust and faith in a good and loving Father. One of my biggest struggles in the past few years has been the constant cloud of anxiety that hangs just above my head on so many days and moments. I never would have considered myself an “anxious” person before my mom passed away, but I truly understand now how deep stresses (emotional, spiritual, physical, and mental) affect your body in CRAZY ways! If left untended and unchecked, anxiety can be a huge distraction for me. May God continue to point me to the truths of His Word and give rest to my weary body and soul. Preaching truth to my heart is the anchor that holds me steady!
In recent days, God has revealed to my own heart the need I have to live undistracted in my love for others. Many times, I am blind to my own weaknesses and sins. I’m so glad my God reveals hidden sins and convicts my heart. He then enables me to change and grow. I long to see past differences, opinions, cultural barriers, color, outer appearances, and past failures or conflicts in order to truly love others with the love Christ has for me. May my love for Christ be undistracted in my love for people.
I’m also asking Christ to help me focus and be undistracted in my secret place with Him. My time in the Word and in prayer is truly my source of strength for day to day life. I can’t and don’t want to go one day without seeking Him in that secret place. I want to hear from God. I long to listen for His whispers of grace. I want my full attention to be on knowing Him and learning who my Father truly is. In order to know His truth, I must spend time with the Truth!
Lastly, I am seeking to live undistracted as I pursue joy and the abundant life with Him. God desires for us to have full, blessed lives. He doesn’t promise me a life free of pain and struggle, but He does promise that in His presence is fullness of joy. True joy comes from knowing Him and resting in the work He has accomplished on my behalf. I am loved, free of condemnation, equipped for good works, and filled with the Holy Spirit!
If you’ve been a Christian for any length of time, then you are fully aware of the many distractions the devil uses to pull our focus away from adoring Jesus and leaning close into His Word and presence. The devil, the master deceiver, works overtime to lure our hearts and minds away from eternal matters of the heart. It is so easy to be consumed with cares of this world and the pressures of every-day living.
Hebrews 12:1-2 reminds us to live undistracted lives. . .”to lay aside every weight and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith.”
My heart longs to look to Jesus—the founder and perfecter of my faith! I long to put aside the “distractions” of this life and focus on the race Christ has given me to run. I desire to be undistracted in my passion and adoration of Jesus!
“God, give me grace to endure and live undistracted this year for Your glory!”
What is God doing in your heart these days? Do you have a word for 2016? How can I best pray for you?