As the ball dropped in Times Square and we all toasted and cheered for the new year, I couldn’t help but think about New Year’s resolutions.  I have never been very good at New Year’s resolutions.  I always feel pressured to come up with something at the last minute and therefore it is never something I truly want to work towards.

Last year I chose a sort of abstract resolution to keep a song in my heart all year through.  It was something that I kept in mind throughout the year and did indeed find myself singing songs of praise in my head and out loud throughout the year.  There were even times when I felt I just had to find the perfect song of praise before going to work so that I could sing it silently in my head while I worked.  I plan to keep it going into 2014 and beyond as I truly feel it lifts my spirits.

But what of a new resolution?  As I tossed several ideas around in my mind, I wanted to choose something simple.  Something that I could easily remember and reflect on.  Something that would bring comfort, peace, and joy and would bring me closer to God.

I decided to choose one word that I could focus on for the year.  One word to embody everything I was hoping for from 2014.  After thinking it over for some time I chose Believe.   Prior to Christmas I read an inspiring blog about the power of truly believing by Lara Campbell Patangan and it caused me to reflect on the word in more depth.

I know God has plans for us.  I know His promises and love are true.  I trust these things.  I have hope because of them.  But there are times when, despite the faith, despite the trust, I feel that I forget to believe. 

Not that I forget to believe in God or in His love, mercy, and grace.  Not that I doubt my faith or forget to believe in Jesus Christ and the sacrifice He made for us.  No. It is much more subtle than that.  It is the moment when you pray and pray and pray for something.  You trust that God will take care of it.  You have faith in His plan.  But the without-a-doubt belief that your prayer will be answered waivers ever so slightly.  The times when we cover up our momentary disbelief with the tag-along “Your will be done” at the end of our prayers, almost as if we are afraid to believe too hard and be let down.  

Of course I know that just because I pray for something does not mean it will be answered the same way I envision or that it will be answered in the time frame I see fit.  But sometimes I am so caught up in the details and planning of how my prayer might be answered, that I forget to just simply believe that it will be answered.  To believe deep down in my heart and soul that YES God hears my prayers and YES He will answer them! God is all-knowing, all loving, all-powerful and I would be a fool to doubt His Almighty plan!  I only need to believe stronger and stronger every day that He knows my heart and knows what is best for me and my family.

So this year my New Year’s resolution is simple.  It is to pray to God for strength in my belief.  I echo the prayer of the father found in Mark 9:24: “I believe; help my unbelief!”  This year I resolve to worry less about the details of God’s plan for me and instead to simply believe with my whole body, mind, and soul that God hears my prayers and will answer them.  How will they be answered?  When?  I do not know and I do not need to know.  I only know that God will provide and the things that He has in store are far greater than anything my little mind could fathom.  I need only to trust in Him.  To have faith that He will guide my heart so that my life and my desires match His will for me.  I need only to believe.

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me” John 14:1
“So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Mark 11:24

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13 thoughts on “Believe

  1. wordprocessor January 2, 2014 at 4:56 pm Reply

    Amen. May it be so! Blessings for a wonderful 2014, Laura. I am thankful to know you through blogging.

    In Christ,

    • wordprocessor January 2, 2014 at 4:56 pm Reply

      I mean Cheryl!! 🙂

      • wordprocessor January 2, 2014 at 4:58 pm

        Have you heard the album, Fortunate Fall, by Audrey Assad? I think you might really like it. Your post reminds me of the messages and prayers in some of the songs.

      • rosesnearrunningwaters January 2, 2014 at 5:59 pm

        I have not but I will definitely have to check it out!

  2. lpatangan January 2, 2014 at 5:42 pm Reply

    I loved this and think it is so relevant. Believing in God has so many dimensions and while like you, I have always believed there are definitely times when my faith is shallow, when I don’t feel the connection as badly as I want too. I think that is why we really have to hold on to the ways we connect with Him – prayer, the sacraments, kindness towards others. (also the singing you do!) I think that is how we best keep the feeling going.

    What a great resolution! In the end, it will matter so much more than being organized or losing weight!

    • rosesnearrunningwaters January 2, 2014 at 6:03 pm Reply

      I certainly hope and pray that by making a conscious effort to focus and pray on a stronger belief it will impact so many aspects of my life. Thanks for your inspiring blog too! 🙂

  3. journeyofjoy January 3, 2014 at 12:45 pm Reply

    Thank you so much for writing this. It connected with my heart in so many ways. One because I too have (ONE) word for 2014; which led my hubby to send me a very inspiring article that I read this morning when I got to the office in these same lines. So good to see someone else thinking in this way.

    I also liked that you pointed this out: “The times when we cover up our momentary disbelief with the tag-along “Your will be done” at the end of our prayers, almost as if we are afraid to believe too hard and be let down”. I actually know what you mean by that. This is why my one word this year is GOAL.

    Finally gathered the guts to boldly just say it’s the year to reach Goal in (a, b & c). What if I don’t? Anyway, I gained great encouragement from your post. Ps: Love your one word!


    • rosesnearrunningwaters January 3, 2014 at 2:53 pm Reply

      Thank you! I’m so glad you were able to be encouraged. Thank you so much for reading and for the lovely comment. God Bless!

  4. inthepottershands988 January 3, 2014 at 2:13 pm Reply

    Amen! This is one of my own goals for this year: To listen to the voice of God and worry less about how He is going to provide and unfold His plans for my life.

    • rosesnearrunningwaters January 3, 2014 at 2:54 pm Reply

      The more I talk with people the more I find it seems to be quite a common struggle. It’s good to know we are all in this together and can encourage each other on the way! God Bless!

  5. 8kidsandabusiness January 5, 2014 at 9:33 pm Reply

    As we begin the new year, I’d like to give you 3 blog awards. Details on my blog:

    • rosesnearrunningwaters January 6, 2014 at 9:39 am Reply

      Thank you 8kids! I do hope you understand though that I respectfully choose not to participate in the awards. But I am very thankful for the honor! God Bless!

  6. […] Last year I chose to focus on one word for a New Year’s Resolution.  Believe. […]

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