By David Baudoin
Most of us have something in our lives that if we would accomplish or deal with, we would be in a much better place twelve or even six months from now—that one thing you’ve been thinking about, or maybe someone has talked to you about. Maybe it’s something you’ve already attempted and for whatever reason didn’t succeed at.
A habit you must break.
A goal you must accomplish.
A project you must complete.
A relationship you must restore.
A relationship you must end.
A debt you must retire.
Your thing may not be on this list, but you probably know what it is. It’s that thing that seems like a hurdle you can’t get over, a wall you can’t climb. What if this is your year?
Many times, it’s that one thing that keeps us from being who God created us to be—for ourselves and our families. How incredible it would be if 12 months from now you were free from that thing, and could end 2021 celebrating that your one thing is no longer controlling you!
I think of people I counsel, knowing that if they could deal with their one thing it would move them in a different direction. I think of my own life and my one thing, that as I begin 2021 it’s on my goal list again. Rather than surrender to the devil’s convincing that it won’t work this year either, I choose to focus on God’s Word that says His mercies are new every morning—even January 1, 2021.
Nehemiah’s one thing
The story of Nehemiah takes place in 444 BC but has inspiration for us as we begin 2021. If you know Nehemiah’s story you know that his one thing was rebuilding the walls surrounding Israel that had been torn down through many battles over the years. As Nehemiah begins to accomplish his task, he begins to face opposition. His main nemesis is Sanballat, who tries to convince him to “take a break,” but Nehemiah refuses and says, “I’m doing a great work and cannot come down.”
Prepare for distractions
As you tackle your one thing this year you need to be prepared for the distractions THAT WILL COME. There are many distractions that can surface but I want you to be aware of three that are common.
We are regularly given opportunities that have the potential to distract us from our one thing, and rob us of our ability to accomplish it. The opportunity may be a “good thing” but in order to pursue it, we have to no longer pursue our one thing. Be willing to let a good opportunity pass by to pursue what is best for you.
Well-meaning people won’t understand why your one thing is such a big thing to you; they’ve become comfortable with your one thing. It’s not their issue, it’s not their failed goal year after year. Don’t let them criticize you in to keeping that thing that God wants you to find freedom from. Sixteen years ago, when my wife and I decided to get out of debt, people criticized us simply because they didn’t understand why we had to be so driven by our goal. Stay the course. It’s your health, it’s your marriage, it’s your future.
Some tried to convince Nehemiah to run and hide in fear for his life, but just as Nehemiah had not allowed opportunities or criticism to distract him, he also did not let fear distract him from the vision. At some point or another, we will want to run in fear. We will think about all the “what ifs” and we’ll be afraid of failing, but we can’t let fear distract us. Ecclesiastes 9:10 reminds us, “Whatever your hands find to do, do it with all your might.” There are no miracles in the book of Nehemiah, just hard work, determination and in the end an accomplished goal.
In ministry nearly 30 years, David has walked through hundreds of trials with families. His wisdom and down-to-earth approach make clients feel comfortable early in the counseling relationship, thus making each session more productive. David is a licensed minister with biblical knowledge and the ability to apply it in daily life, offering clients real hope in every situation. Married to Tara for 18 years, he has raised a stepdaughter (24), and is now parenting two daughters (13 and 14).