I lost. I lost a battle against doubt, worry, fear, and distraction. If I'm being honest, I lost two months ago when I threw in the white towel. But it took some major shifts this past week for me to consciously admit that to myself. My poor habits and constant procrastination have resulted in a major failure. I had a plan, God blessed it, I created action steps, checkpoints, buffer zones, you name it I had it in my plan. However, I lacked a critical make or break element that can't be planned for, only practiced, and that was discipline. I had the will and the way, but lacked the stamina, the courage, and the perseverance to act through completion. 

That realization is but the first step.  Yes, I lost this round, this season, this battle, but the war is not over, the next round has begun, and a new season is afoot. I may have lost, but I am not a loser. I have fallen, but the only thing that matters is that I get right back up. And the only way I can do that is through God's grace. Although I strayed from His plan, He is still at my side calling me back, letting me know that it's going to be okay, that I am down, but not out. As David reminds me, God's way is perfect, His word is flawless, He shields all who take refuge in Him. I feel like Hezekiah's son, Manasseh, who went away from God's plan, but in his distress sought the Lord and humbled himself. When he prayed with sincerity God listened and brought him back in alignment to His will

God is our perfectly flawless plan. I see what's really going on when I'm in His presence. My success will depend on my reliance on Him and not on myself. When I'm with Him I am reminded of what matters, not my plans, but His. As I begin this new season of my life I will need to invest all of my efforts into cultivating a life filled with God and discipline. This won't be easy, but having faced such a brutal lost I am acutely aware of what's at stake. As Paul writes "No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it." Discipline is an act of faith. 

I am up and ready for whatever is next. As long as I stick with Him and master myself I am capable of anything. And so are you! As J.Oswald Sanders' reminds us:

"The future is with the disciplined, and that quality has been placed first in our list, for without it the other gifts, however great, will never reach their potential. Only the disciplined person will raise to his highest powers, he is able to lead because he has conquered himself."

With Love,