Revealing What Matters – A Heart Check for the New Year

Final exam results reveal how thoroughly the class material was studied and learned. Year end tax preparations reveal how much money was made, and spent, and how it was made and spent. Weigh ins reveal how honest one was with one’s eating plan. Medical tests reveal health or disease. In Scripture, Revelation reveals how God’s kingdom will reign. And, perhaps in ruminating about the past twelve months, as accomplishments and regrets, gratitude and loss are revealed, these impact the dreams and goals for the next twelve months.

As a woman who follows Jesus, I wonder what my character says about my faith. Lately, I’ve been thinking about what would be revealed about me at my memorial service. Morbid? Maybe, but having lost three classmates within the last six months, enduring a “what if” biopsy, which, thankfully revealed no cancer, and watching several friends battle diseases because their results were “positive” (ironic, no?), makes me a little bit thinky about my time on earth and its significance. I know, as a woman who loves Jesus, this is just a stopping point on my way to heaven—an important stopping point—but really a dot on the timeline of eternity. But I’m here for a reason, and my time needs to be spent well.

See, short of the breath I breathe right this instant, nothing is promised to me about my length of stay on earth. Not tomorrow. Not my next vacation. Not seeing my kids graduate college. Not being a grandmother. Not growing old with my beloved. Nothing. But what is promised to me? Well, Jesus came so that I might have life to the full, both here and in Heaven. He came, so that I might love Him with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love others as He loves me. I’m promised that if I confess my need to the God who loves me, and state my belief in him, while allowing Jesus to change my heart to be more like his, then I will be saved and have a forever home in heaven. By the way, I’m personalizing this to myself, because I’m thinking about my life, but to be clear, He came so that all would be saved, not just me.

So…what would my life reveal? Did I love the Lord my God with all my heart, with all my mind, with all my soul, and with all my strength? Did I give my Lord as much of myself as I gave others? And what about loving others as He loved me? How did I do there? Did I love the easy people in my life only, or did I also love well those who drove me nuts? Did I pray for those who persecuted me, or even just disagreed politically with me? Do/will people who engaged with me one day know Jesus because I displayed His love in an unmistakable, tangible way? Will it one day be revealed that I did my part?

I hope so. My final exam could be any day. I really want to hear a “Well done, good and faithful servant,” not only because I love words of affirmation, but because my life’s goal is to glorify God by becoming more and more like him and less and less like me. May His light be revealed to all who know me now and in each day I am gifted with breath.

Happy New Year!

Grace & Such strives to advance Christian growth among women. While we believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God, we also recognize human interpretations are imperfect. Grace & Such encourages our readers to open their Bibles, pray for wisdom and study for themselves what the Word says. For more about who we are, please visit the About Us page.
Gretchen Hanna
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  1. Jen on January 16, 2017 at 1:50 PM

    Great post that makes me rather “thinky”, Gretchen.You are a light and I always walk away from you feeling either inspired or encouraged, sometimes both.

    I’ve been praying to be more humble lately and it’s revealing things that I’m not so pleased about. But at the same time it’s revealing God’s grace over me. Love that!

    • Gretchen on January 16, 2017 at 2:08 PM

      Thank you for your sweet words, Jen. Humility is a tricky one, isn’t it? Especially in Christian circles. We don’t want to do the humble brag or show false humility; but it’s okay to share our blessings. I think you’re spot on in just praying about it. God gives me great words, or (more often) holds my tongue if I let Him.

  2. Diane Karchner on January 16, 2017 at 2:25 PM

    “So…what would my life reveal?” Today, what would my life reveal, if it was indeed my last…oiy, that is exciting and depressing all at the same time. Thanks, Gretchen, for your continued willingness to drive us back to the mirror so we stay focused…and honest…on what matters to God.

    • Gretchen on January 16, 2017 at 5:24 PM

      Thank you Diane. Yes looking in the mirror is sometimes as difficult for me as looking at the numbers on the scale. 🙂 Ha ha. But when we chose to be brave I think God blesses the effort.

      Thank you again for your lovely Advent devotional. Such wonderful words as I was waiting on Jesus at Christmas time.

  3. Rebecca Preston on January 16, 2017 at 4:18 PM

    I long for those words – “good and faithful servant” From what I have observed from FB and your writings, having never met you face to face, I believe it will be said of you!

    • Gretchen on January 16, 2017 at 5:24 PM

      Oh, Becky… I long to hear those words. Thank you for your encouragement. Xo

  4. Bev Gibson on January 17, 2017 at 1:27 AM

    I had a pastor preach once that so very few of us live intentional lives, Christians and non-Christians alike. His words really stuck with me. Loved reading your words here, and always, always appreciate your realness. xoxo

    • Gretchen Hanna on January 17, 2017 at 8:39 PM

      Thank you for your encouragement, here, Bev. It’s hard sometimes to get up every day and put on my intentionality; however, it’s easier for me when I live from the perspective of “give us this day our daily bread”. In other words, one day at a time. Live, give thanks, repeat. 😉

  5. Diane on January 30, 2017 at 3:30 PM

    This is a great post, Gretchen, a great reality check. As they say, “It hurts so good:/”

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