3 Essential Steps to Thrive in 2021

Research shows that the top five reasons married couples end in divorce are; finances, infidelity, constant arguing, lack of intimacy and substance abuse. This honestly doesn’t surprise me one bit.

I personally have lived through this as well and fell into every single one of these categories that ended my marriage back in 2014. As I stepped into my role as a young wife at age 18, I quickly realized how unprepared I was to this new chapter of my life that I had always dreamed of as a little girl. Of course, I knew the basics of cleaning, cooking and serving my husband, but I was blinded to the fact that marriage wasn’t all about the esthetics and romance, which quite frankly, failed to meet my expectations of a fairytale ever after.

As the days into my marriage went by, I noticed how little about life I truly knew. My parents made it look so easy, but of course, at the time they were well over 20 years into their marriage. Although their marriage hasn’t been perfect by all means, they still managed to work things out. But you know how? Commitment, dedication, and communication.

At this point in time, it seems like everyone is so afraid of commitment to just about anything, not just marriage. It can simply be commitment to jobs, friendships and even an intimate relationship with God. We’ve become less dedicated to things that bring us true joy perhaps out of fear of that relationship ending or, that project not going the way we had initially planned for. Communication between people lacks perhaps out of fear of being vulnerable or, simply because we make assumptions towards others delivering what we expect of them while often realizing that none of us are mind readers.

As this new year begins, we can be comforted by the Word of God as He invites us to not worry about anything, which for you could be your marriage, finances, health, career or anything you have been trying to do on your own strength. God reminds us to pray about everything that weighs us down, to tell Him what we need and to thank Him for all He has given us and done for us already in our lives. Doing this alone helps us have a sense of peace in our hearts that God is in control when we give our lives to Jesus Christ.

How can we aim to succeed in all of these things this new year?

1). Commit yourself to the Lord by first and foremost laying down your foundation on solid rock that when our faith is shaken we will not break. “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock.” ~Matthew 7:24 NLT

We’re called to listen and follow God’s instructions for every area of our lives, but gaining wisdom and not acting on it is useless and a waste of time and energy if we don’t put into practice what we’ve learned. This doesn’t mean that we will never fail in life because most certainly we will. But God promises to help us get back up again as we walk alongside with Him. We need to be committed to our one-on-one relationship with God, dedicated to doing all things for His glory by constantly communicating our desires with our one true love and listening to His voice.

2). We are to dedicate our lives to God and allow Him to examine our hearts and see what isn’t serving us anymore. Maybe it’s pride holding us back from doing things differently in our finances, marriage and careers. Or, fear of stepping out into something that is different and uncomfortable to us.

It’s often helpful to ask ourselves, “Am I glorifying God with what I am currently doing?” or, “Can I glorify God with what I want to pursue next?” And, “What am I afraid of in taking this risk?”

In Galatians 5:16, we are reminded that we are to live lead by the Holy Spirit. “So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives.Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.”

Sometimes it’s so easy to overspend money on things we don’t necessarily need, but we can justify our purchases by attaching it to an unfulfilled desire, (I’m so guilty of this!) Or, we can justify our actions to why we’re not speaking to our spouse instead of working to understand one another.

If we want new results in our lives, we must be committed to live lead by the Holy Spirit within us in order to effectively understand and have courage to what God is calling us to do.

3). And last, but certainly not least, we must accept that we can’t do life on our own strength, but we must learn to communicate daily with God through prayer and His Word.

I personally have experienced the thought that I needed to get my act together before I came to Christ Jesus but, this simply isn’t true. I’ve encountered many people who feel this sort of way, and there’s a story in scripture that has given me so much comfort. In the book of Mark chapter 2, Jesus is reclined at a table with many tax collectors and sinners who were reclining with Jesus and His disciples. Religious people questioned this act, but Jesus replied what I believe would also bring you much comfort into your heart. “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” ~Mark 2:17 ESV. Did you get that? Jesus came for you and me; broken and sinful people, those who constantly fall short and all who fail time-and-time again. He wants us to Himself and delights in our need of Him and meets both you and me right where we are.

Are you ready to embark a new chapter in your life?

If you’ve never said yes to Jesus it’s never too late to start now, and if you’ve fallen off track, today’s the day to come back to Him! He will always meet us right where we are.

Trust God, and Do Good πŸ™‚

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