This post is a revision of a post I wrote in 2019. I recorded it for my podcast earlier this week and thought I would share it in writing as well. It has been updated to reflect the passage of time and revised in order to share about two great blessings from God.
It seems we do two major resets per year: January 1st and the week after Labor Day. But let’s be real here. We need to reset more than twice per year. It’s so easy to get off-track and off-kilter in life. When the power goes out, and the clocks are blinking, we need a reset.
Things can kick our feet out from under us. We can get sucked in, pulled this way, shoved that way. At times, we get dragged in, kicking and screaming. Sometimes, we dive in headlong, willingly. We miscalculate. We set it and forget it. But, regardless of how we get here, we can hit burnout; we can hit depression; we can hit a season of prodigal living; and we can be laying in a rut deeper than we can dig ourselves out of.
I have just passed the 22nd anniversary of the beginning of my chronic illnesses, as year after year, more chronic illnesses have been added to the initial one. There are days when I can barely get out of bed, much less leave the house. Travel is not in my vocabulary. Common tasks like moving, thinking, eating, and communicating all become difficult or impossible. When I originally wrote this article, for a moment, I celebrated the 19th anniversary. I was excited to think about how far God had brought me, because when things first began, I honestly thought I was going to die. But then my mind shifted—my focus shifted—and I watched what everyone else around me was doing: gearing up for vacations, packing up picnic baskets, dusting off suitcases, and stocking up on suntan lotion. And my heart hurt. The celebration came to a halt as reality crowded its way into my mind.
If I go out in public, people think I must be better. They have no idea of the battle that ensued to put me in their presence. And unless there is divine intervention, I will never get better; I will actually grow worse. My mind slips into thinking how unfair this is. Another anniversary of my high school and college graduations has come and gone, and I am not where I imagined I would be at this point in life. Life rolls on without me. The family reunions happen without me. The weddings, baby showers, and even funerals don’t require a seat for me. In my humanness, it is quite discouraging. My heart breaks. My heart cries out—not questioning God, but in frustration. “God, if I was just healthy, I could do a, b, and c. I could do this for You. I could go there for You. I could reach them, touch them, help them in Your name. I could do that God. I could.”
But I can’t. Not in that way. Not yet. There has to be another way.
There has to be something else for me right now. What is it? What is it, God? As my heart breaks, so do the sobs. But then I think about the words “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.”1 There is an eternal purpose. There is an eternal plan unfolding in my life right now. Everything is filtered through His hand. Everything can be viewed as a good and perfect gift. Everything is a good and perfect gift. I just need a reset: To reset my mind on things above. To reset my heart in the direction from whence comes my help. A reset in my focus—to still serve God no matter what I can or cannot do. A reset of my course—serving God in this current state. I will do things in a new and different way, or I will do something new and different altogether. I will reset my purpose from temporal to eternal. I will reset my goal—not to be chasing after the things other people are chasing after, nor even chasing after the things I want to or think I should be chasing after, but to instead be chasing after the things God wants for me. This is my goal. This is my purpose. Your will be done, not mine.
I will reset my gaze from what I see now to what is beyond the now. He is good, and He does what is good. I will reset my heart to bow to His will. And I will reset the words running around in my mind and spilling off my tongue to be words of gratitude, praise, and worship. Yes, I am going to reset my mind on things above and not on things of this earth. And in another twenty-two years, I am going to be celebrating again. But I am also going to be doing it all along the way until I arrive there.
Resets can be difficult, but the payoff is worth it. Refreshment will come. Peace will come. Joy, hope, and a powerful witness will come. The new day will bring new mercies. The new eyes will bring new hope. The new direction will leave a new legacy.
The new year, the new season, can start on any day of the calendar year. Reset your mind on Christ.
Before I close, I would like to share a testimony with you of something amazing God did for me this year. Above, I mentioned that travel is not in my vocabulary; however, this year, I was able to take two three-day trips. One was to celebrate my parents’ 50th anniversary. I got to see relatives from both sides of the family, some of whom I hadn’t seen in almost thirty-five years. The other trip was to visit my father-in-law who is in declining health. I had not seen him in thirteen years. And while I was there, I got to see other members of the family, and some of them were new to the family. I didn’t feel well during either of these trips. I had to deal with various symptom flare-ups, spent some time in bed, and missed some of the events, but I am astounded at what God did for me. He gave me the strength, ability, endurance, and help that I needed to be able to accomplish the travel. It was truly miraculous, and I thank and praise Him for what He did for me.
1 Colossians 3:2
Scripture taken from the New King James Version of the Holy Bible, ©1982 by Thomas Nelson.
© Text and photo Francee Strain, September 15, 2022. Original article posted July 9, 2019.