by Dina Gonsar
With a new year is supposed to come new beginnings. People set new goals and are motivated by the hope that they can start fresh. Or that the can essentially, “hit the ground running” on whatever new project lies ahead. However, as the new year came about I felt a growing sense that I needed to stop running. It had become apparent I was running so fast and so hard that I didn’t realize I no longer knew where I was going. My heart was filled with bitterness and frustration, not motivation with determination. I had no more energy, there was a fork in the road and I could not make myself go in any direction. I now know the problem had become that all I was focused too much on what “I” could or could not do. Instead of what the Lord was calling me to do. Which was to stop right there.
God had asked me to be still before. I would do it for a day or so, maybe even a week. But my soul would squirm, and my mind would race. If I do not keep doing “something” won’t I lose “everything?” Everyone is moving, more efficiently it seems, why can’t I? I was operating in a lot of “I will” telling myself it was on behalf of God’s will. It was a great lie I had been telling myself, until it wore me out. I never truly stopped to let him fill me with peace as I moved into the next direction. Because I would use my own strength to keep going. However, my strength had run out in every capacity. I had some recent experiences that left me thinking, if I am going to be tired, broken, or used it better be because I working on behalf of the Lord. Otherwise, I will keep putting myself through these things, and come up empty. I no longer was wondering why, I knew why.
For the first time in years, I stopped. God was calling me to go back to basics. I kept hearing that in my heart. Despite everything that goes on with me, I am grateful. I know I have many blessings in my life. There is no reason to be as irritated and frustrated as I was. I was spending too much time trying to lay treasures up where they would wash away. Maybe my heart wanted to do the right things but I was letting overwhelm, and the world’s time table lead me. I needed to get out of the world and into the WORD of God. I needed to scale back, step back, and let God open my eyes. He kept bringing Matthew 9: 16-17 to me in different capacities over the next month:
“No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”
I started to see what God was saying to me. It is amazing when he brings a word to you, and you realize it. I had heard this verse three different ways from three different people. God could not do a new work in me if I was hanging onto my old habits. There was no room for the next step or new work because I was not making room. I was too busy toiling away at what made sense to me. Hanging onto old ideas, disappointments, and routines. Now, every time panic rose-up from my stomach to my chest, I prayed God do not let me move in panic. I will not move to the next thing until I know you are there. This is something I am still praying daily. Is there more work to do? Simply, yes. Things are far from perfect or where my old self would want them to be. However, I am more peaceful about it, which tells me I am on the right path. This time I shall wait expectantly for the next step instead of running ahead.
Dina Gonsar is the writer and creator behind the popular DishItGirl.com. Dina has shared her recipes and love for family dinner across numerous media outlets both local and national. She is an award-winning home cook that has a heart for encouraging her community both in and out of the kitchen. Dina has a heart for encouraging those right where they are at, especially when it involves the kitchen table. When she isn’t dishing it up on television you can find her in the kitchen with her daughter Siena and her husband Brian in New Jersey. You can learn more about Dina by visiting: www.dishitgirl.com