By Jill Williamson
A new year always feels like the start of a new journey to me. And each year I’ve had different things that I’ve wanted to tackle in my writing career. Resolutions. Plans. Hopes. Goals. I always start out, heart overflowing with anticipation. I want to improve. I hope to make changes. And I long to succeed in my plans.
And a new year always seems like a good excuse for self-improvement.
But many years have come and gone, and I’ve often failed to reach those “resolutionary” goals. Perhaps, in my tendency to dream big-too big?-I’ve set myself up to fail.
But lately I’ve wondered if I haven’t been looking at it the wrong way all along.
I mean, I’m a writer. I’m determined. I dream big. And nothing is beyond my capacity to reach for-as a writer. But while this philosophy works well for fiction, it doesn’t translate well in real life. I can’t write the character Jill Williamson determined enough to accomplish her every whim. I can’t remove unforeseen obstacles that come Jill’s way. I can’t edit out a nasty setback or write in a miracle. I can’t even rework Jill Williamson’s personality and give her a more effective Myers-Briggs temperament so she can be more productive in areas she let slide before.
Alas, real life just doesn’t work that way. No matter how much I want to succeed in my goals, no matter how hard I work to achieve them, despite the dozens of email reminders I set up for myself or how detailed I schedule my daily calendar, I am human. Sometimes I will succeed. And sometimes I will fail.
The good news? My God can do all things. His ways are not my ways. And just because I have some goals I’d like to accomplish this year, that doesn’t mean God has the same goals for my life. Sure, it’s good to set goals and follow through. But I need to be flexible, strong, and confident that my God has the best plan for my 2012. And should he wish to do a work in me that I didn’t even know I needed, I will praise him.
So I dedicate my 2012 to Jesus, the author and perfecter of my life. I pray that I will not stand in the way of his plans for my year. I humble myself before him and ask that he do a mighty work in me and through me in 2012, whether it is a part of my plans or not.
Jill Williamson is a dreamer, believer, and author of all things weird. She won two Christy Awards for her Blood of Kings trilogy and recently released Replication, a science fiction teen novel from Zondervan. Jill lives in Oregon with her husband and two children and a whole lot of deer.
Great post, Jill, and some good advice we’d all be better off to follow. Thanks.
Wonderful, Jill, and so true. The very attributes that make us ‘successful’ as writers–drive, determination, assertiveness, for example–often clash with what God wants of us as His children: Humility, flexibility, submission. I know I’ve had trouble balancing the two–maybe 2012 will be the year of change! Thanks for sharing.