Just like that, another year has ended. This past year has probably been one of the most eventful years of my life. In the span of three months I was engaged and got married to my best friend! My nephew Gideon was born, and he’s probably the coolest baby ever (sorry not sorry to those of you who had children). I recently got an opportunity to write for Medium on pop-culture, which has always been a huge love of mine (Click here to read some fun stuff!). There have been so many great things, but this has also been a difficult year for me. I was working and carrying out a different vision than my own, and because of that, I stopped dreaming. I found myself working out of a routine because I wasn’t really able to experiment, I’m not saying this is bad, it just became an environment that didn’t help me thrive. The moments where I felt like I was myself were over shadowed by my anxiety to perform well with the hopes of others noticing my work and the craft I was giving. This anxiety really hurt me, causing me to forget who I am. When I was around people that love me and in situations where I could be who I was, that joy came back. As I reflect over this past year, I want to be different, I want to make sure that I am taking care of myself and following what God is calling me towards.
With each new year I like to choose a character attribute that I want to focus on for the year. In the past I chose words like, servant, hero, adventurer, doctor, avenger, and this past year gifted. I think it’s important to have a word for the year, it has always been a good practice in my life as it helps me be conscious of the choices I make and who I want to continue to grow into. This year I am choosing a word that came to me while my wife and I were on our honeymoon to Disney. One of the highlights of my year was this trip, we were able to be in a place that came from so many imaginations, people that knew who they were and created a place for their ideas. To be honest, this past year felt very robotic, I was working in a place where I had to do what others tasked me with, I struggled in finding life in my writing, book ideas were placed aside, and in general my creativity felt stifled. There were moments when it would come back, those moments were what I talked about earlier where I was filled with joy, but other than that, it was often a struggle. So, being in a place filled with imagination and creativity, it made me come up with this word as I enter the new year.
My word for this year is dreamer.
It’s actually the word my wife and I both want to focus on for our family. We have forgotten what it’s like to dream bigger. I was in a job that I thought would just keep going, but the reality is, God made me for more than a job. He has called me to reach people, the job is just a nice thing to have. I was focused on security rather than asking what God had in store for me, and that holds me back, it holds all of us back really. If there is one thing I know for certain after all the experiences I have gone through, it’s that God has a plan bigger than I can imagine. If God’s plan is bigger, shouldn’t that mean I need to dream bigger? When I choose to dream bigger, the impossible seems much more possible. I recently watched the new movie, ‘Mary Poppins Returns,’ and wrote about it here, but the movie really stuck with me. It shows how the adults forget the magic in everyday life because they get caught up in the mundane. I don’t want that, I don’t want to just let life pass me by without contributing what I know I can into it. That’s why I am choosing this word, because I want to be a dreamer, someone who believes in the extraordinary and steps into it.
With this word and the coming year, I am also left with this truth.
God’s plan is bigger and better than anything I could plan for.
I tend to try and plan everything out, especially the future. Yet, my plans are often overturned and that gives me anxiety. Why then don’t I trust and follow the doors God is opening rather than stress myself out with my fallible plans? It’s a foolish thing to do, one that I don’t want to fall into anymore. When adversity and the unknowns come up, I want to be able to step into what God is doing in order to grow me. I don’t need to worry what others think of me or worry about my performance, I simply need to trust God and be confident in my gifts and abilities he has placed over my life. Before I was even born, God had a purpose for my life, I will choose to rest in that. Anyone that tries to tear me down or not believe in me, that’s okay, my faith is not in others, but in the creator of the universe. God’s plan is bigger, so I choose to dream bigger.
My wife and I are going to head into changes. New jobs, job searching, and looking for what’s next can be scary, but God has a plan. We are looking for ministry opportunities and new cities and states, and whatever happens, God has us and he has never left us. We recently started a family blog that you can check out as we continue to grow our Thomas Tribe. What’s next for you this year? Are you trusting God? What words are you choosing to focus on for this year? Let me know down below, so I can be praying for you. Whatever you are facing, God is bigger. Let this new year be your best year yet!