During my birthday week I was reflecting on where I had been just one year earlier. Last year I’d had the opportunity to meet with a business woman to talk about my blog, Ask Anna, but before I met with her I was challenged to think about the desires of my heart, the things my heart was dreaming of, but in my mind I didn’t think they could become a reality.
I had never really been asked to think about that before so I spent a considerable amount of time writing them out and listing everything that came to mind, no matter how unrealistic it seemed.
This year I spent my birthday on vacation in Mexico (which was amazing) so I didn’t have my journal with me, but the night of my birthday while I was laying in bed, the Lord reminded me about my journal and put it on my heart to look at what I had written when I got home. As I fell asleep that night I was trying to remember the things I had written down, and I was able to recall a few of them, which I knew the Lord had answered over the last year. I went to sleep with my heart full and so thankful for what the Lord had done over the last year.
A handful of days later when we got home, and I was finally able to play catch up, the Lord reminded me to open my journal and read what I had written from last year. I honestly thought I had only written about 4 or 5 things down but when I opened my journal I was shocked to count 11 things. What shocked me even more was reading them and seeing how so many of them had actually happened in the past year, or were set into motion by the Lord.
Do you want to know how many of the 11 actually happened?
10 of the 11 things my heart was burning for last year around the time of my birthday, happened in the past year!
Obviously I could believe it because it happened but it was one of those moments that I honestly wouldn’t have believed unless I had just read it in my own handwriting. 10 of 11, with more to come. Amazing.
While I spent time reflecting on each thing, and writing down how the Lord fulfilled that desire, I started to think about this next year and what God might have in store for my 36th year. What I heard the Lord say was “promises fulfilled” and I was reminded of so many of the Psalms that talk about God’s faithfulness and how good He is to those who follow Him.
Your love is so extravagant, it reaches higher than the heavens! Your faithfulness is so astonishing, it stretches to the skies!” Psalm 108:4 (tPt)
“Your faithfulness to keep every gracious promise you’ve made passes from parents, to children, to grandchildren, and beyond. You are faithful to all those who follow your ways and keep you Word.” Psalm 103:17b-18 (tPt)
“He is so loving that it will amazing you – so kind that it will astound you! And He is famous for His faithfulness toward all. Everyone knows our God can be trusted, for he keeps His promises to every generation!” 100:5 (tPt)
The other thing He reminded me of was how much He loves us and longs to hear the desires of our hearts. Of course He already knows what our hearts desire, but He wants us – His children – to ask Him for those things so He can turn around and bless us with them. He longs for us to tell Him what is important to us, what we desire, what we want most in life.
Just like you know your children secretly long to go to Disneyland, or on a tropical vacation, yet you want them to tell you what their desires are, so you can turn around and surprise them with it. That is the Lord’s heart.
He wants us, his children, to tell Him our desires, so He can turn around and bless us with those things.
I’m not saying the Lord isn’t going to bless you because you aren’t intentional about asking Him for something but what I do know is the joy and faith you will be blessed with when you do ask, and see Him fulfill your desires.
Lord, I’m shouting with glee over all you’ve done, for all you’ve done for me!” Psalm 92:4 (tPt)
I know so many of you are afraid to ask the Lord for the desires of your hearts because you can’t take anymore disappointment. Everyone else has let you down, and if the Lord let you down, you don’t know what you would do. But I want to speak to that fear because that fear is NOT from the Lord.
Life will let you down over and over again because the ruler of this world (John 12:31) doesn’t want to see you walk in fulfillment, but the Lord longs to fulfill your desires.
I want to challenge you to ask the Lord for what’s on your heart.
Honestly ask Him.
Do you know why those things are on your heart? It’s because He put them there.
He knows you more than you will ever know, or understand, yourself. He put those desires in your heart because He’s the only one who knows what you really need to become who He’s called you to be.
So my challenge is to write down the things your heart desires the most, then put them away, and revisit them in a year, two years, and every year after that. Each year make note of the desires He has fulfilled, and every year add to the list.
Year after year you will see God answer your heart’s desires. Each year you will look back and see how much you have grown. Each year you will grow in your love for your Father and how much He knows your heart. And year after year your faith will grow, and your love for your Father will grow, as you watch Him take care of you and fulfill your deepest desires.
May we never forget that the Lord works wonders for every one of His chosen lovers. And this is how I know that He will answer my every prayer.” 4:3 (tPt)
I challenge you to start today. Go grab a pen and a notebook and start writing, what have you got to lose?