Confident Joy in God-Goals
by Tina Yeager
“In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus”
(Philippians 1:4-6, NIV).
I gaze through my icy window toward an unseeable horizon. Wintry haze shrouds the chill-stripped trees blocking my view of the day’s edges. A single leaf, somehow able to hang on through the season of storms and frost, releases its grip this morning. I watch this former piece of the tree’s crown on its slow drift toward the end of itself on the frozen earth. Updrafts twist and twirl the frail leaf so the shape occasionally resembles a hand raised in surrender.
I fold my arms to brace myself against chills. My home remains warm, but some shivers sink deeper than those triggered by the mid-winter wind. I shudder for the same reason I dared not hope when facing so many new years in the past. After so many years of failing to reach my writing dreams, how can I cling to goal setting? I fear declarations could set me up for a disappointing fall next winter.
The balmy updraft of the Holy Spirit’s prompting leads me to the beginning of Philippians. An imprisoned apostle had sent encouragement from his cell. The message of joy and confidence transcends ancient horizons to stir my heart.
I had retained old mindsets about a message-bearer’s success. My tight grip on publication quantity, platform size, and sales fail to offer hope. I cannot hold onto these lifeless standards forever. I can choose how to let go, either in despair or surrender.
If I release my former objectives and allow the Spirit to guide me, joy awaits. Christ invites me to share his gospel-centered goals. He bears the burden of completing the destined outcomes, not me. When I partner with Jesus, we experience joy on the writing journey he dreamed for me.
The haze of worry lifts. I unfold my arms and raise them high to receive a new commission for my words this year. My heart settles into a confident peace as I watch the leaf continue its dance upon the wind. The choreography of unseen and frail plays out for a stretch of moments that allude to infinity. With a glorious final pirouette, the leaf rests like a crown on a mound of earth. I pray my word ballet with the Spirit will conclude the same way.
Word Of Life, thank you for calling me to write in partnership with you. Please help me to remember to let you lead the dance and carry me to the goals you’ve already set. Guide my words to align with your heart. Let me honor your name like a frail, surrendered crown to the end of my journey on this earth. Amen.
Award-winning author, speaker, licensed counselor, and life coach, Tina encourages audiences to fulfill their potential. Her 10-week, ten-minutes-a-day Subdue Stress and Anxiety course features 15 expert presenters. She hosts the Flourish-Meant podcast. Check out Beautiful Warrior: Finding Victory Over the Lies Formed Against You and Upcycled: Crafted for a Purpose (Bold Vision, 2022). Connect with Tina at tinayeager.com.