If you’re like me, you already have your highlighters and planners ready to take on 2018. Because an organized to-do list means we are on top of things and everything will go as planned right?

Not always.

When life throws us curveballs, those post-it notes get thrown out the window. And in these moments we discover what little control we have over what happens to us. We don’t plan on having cancer. We don’t plan on losing our job. We don’t plan on a broken relationship. The sense of control we thought we had suddenly becomes a feeling of being out of control.

While we can’t control everything that happens TO us, the one thing we can control is what happens IN us.

One response is to say, “I’m done! I quit!”

Another response is to say, “Lord, I surrender to your will.” When we surrender to God’s ways, He will use our experiences to change us on the inside in order to become more like Him. Qualities such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control are some of the results of surrendering to God’s will.

The full version of the Serenity Prayer is a reminder of what our response could be when things don’t go our way:

“God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
As it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
If I surrender to His Will;
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life
And supremely happy with Him
Forever and ever in the next.

Go ahead and make your New Year’s resolutions, but also ask God what He wants to do IN you this coming year. As the Holy Spirit takes control and leads you to become more like Him, you will crush 2018 like nobody’s business.