Changing Priorities

Life requires us to change priorities. I have had to change and adjust my priorities because I cannot do what I used to do. I feel like I’m under house arrest sometimes.  My shackles are my body.  When I do go out I seem to have a timer that goes off inside my body that tells me I must go back home now. If I ignore that timer, I pay dearly during the next 1-2 days with forced rest.

The new year is like turning a new page, right? Tell my body that. It’s still running on last year’s pages.

I like to take time at the beginning of the year to focus in and pray about something specific. I decided to do a 21 day fast of something I love in the morning: my coffee! So this year I prayed about my health. Unfortunately, I found myself in the ER getting a CT scan and blood work. New symptoms had popped up (unrelated to the fast) that caused me great concern.  Thankfully I was cleared to go home and just follow up with doctors. This caused me to pray because my heart was confused.

Prayer: Dear Jesus, what is going on?  I’ve been in this pit for quite a while now.  Like Joseph, I wonder why am I even here?  It’s not fair.  What did I do to deserve these health issues?  But I have to believe – as You had a plan for Joseph, You also have a plan for me.  Even in this, I choose to trust You.

God’s Word to Us: I hear you, my dear, as I saw your 21 days of fasting and heard your prayers about your health.  I do have a plan and it’s a plan for good.  I will take care of the things you cannot do.  I know the intricate parts of your body. I am your creator, always, even now.  Rest in my care for you. And remember, even though you are still having to wait, I do have plan and it is good. It is good for you and also good for the people around you too. Trust Me with this.

My Heart’s Cry was for God to answer why this was happening to me and I was even a little bit pouty by saying, “It’s not fair.”  Thankfully in these moments of despair He reminds me that He has a good plan, He is taking care of me and He’s my creator.

Waiting is hard! Especially when it affects how you feel and how normal daily life is expected to go. Health issues, relational issues and financial issues can all wreck havoc on our state of mind by destroying our peace. Life surprises us and we have to make adjustments. Here are some things I’ve learned during this waiting period.

Changing your priorities while you wait:

Slow Down: Whatever your crisis is, slow down. Sometimes we feel we need to do more to try and get out of our predicament by ourselves. But many times we are just spinning our wheels going nowhere. Purposely slowing down to pray, read His Word and wait on Him invites His perspective into our situations and helps us to spiritually assess what’s really going on and make better decisions.

Say no: It’s hard work, but very necessary. I have had a whole year of saying no. I think the hardest part of saying no is changing expectations. If I say no, my expectations have to change and then the people who are affected by my choice have to change their expectations too.

Do What’s Important: What are the responsibilities that must get done?  During this health crisis I have learned what is important. I only have so many good hours a day. So I have to plan accordingly. So much of what I thought was important I now consider frivolous.

Once you slow down, say no to yourself and others by changing expectations, it’s easier to do what’s important. Many times this is God’s way of pruning you. He allows life to get tough in an area so you are willing to say no to previous commitments. Commitments that just aren’t working in your life any longer.  There is no fruit. You’ve lost your joy and you are just doing it now because you feel obligated. There might be some commitments that you do enjoy, and when you have to say no to the enjoyable ones, it is harder. But as it says in the verse below, God prunes us in order to produce more fruit.

“He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit,
and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit
so they will produce even more.”
   

Changing priorities may be hard work, but remember God’s got the ultimate plan. He is leading you. He loves you. He’s got plans for your growth.

I leave you with this scripture that always warms my heart from Psalm 1:

“But they delight in the law of the LORD,
meditating on it day and night.
They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither,
and they prosper in all they do.”

I may have been pruned from all the activities I used to do, but my leaf or my spirit has not withered.  I am full of hope!  In due season, I will bear fruit again. For now I am resting along the riverbank, drinking in His goodness and delighting in Him. 

Kim

Scriptures used: John 15:2 & Psalm 1:2-3 NLT.

P.S. Please let me know if you enjoyed this blog by liking and/or commenting either on WordPress or Facebook.  Also, please consider sharing this on your timeline.

Psalm 1 mentioned “meditating” on God’s Word. Here are a couple of blogs I wrote on Why Meditate? and How to Meditate? Enjoy.

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