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Setting Goals No One Sees

Setting Goals No One Sees

“I will not be where I am forever.”

I spoke those words aloud into the sterile hospital room where I sat in semi-darkness. Monitor lights blinked, beeps sounded, and answers vanished.

It’s nice when ah-ha moments are born out of inspiration and excitement, but sometimes such moments are birthed in deepest desperation and despair. Perhaps those are the most pivotal of them all.

My daughter, once a vibrant twenty-six-year-old mother of two didn’t respond to my declaration into the quiet night. She couldn’t.

Paralyzed by a mysterious brain stem lesion, her ability to walk, talk, and move had been stripped months ago. Postponing death while praying for life took all who loved her through an endless tunnel of blind corners, cruel and disheartening. At each turn the road seemed blacker than the one behind. Hope like a reoccurring mirage evaporated in the distance, faint and impossible to discern.

“In a year from now, life will have changed.”

Perhaps for the worse. Maybe miraculously for the better, but a year will go by, I realized, and things would be different one way or another.

“Life will not be here, in this room, at this bedside.”

A flash of scenes swept me from where I slumped. I pictured a gravesite and a nursing home. I imagined my daughter back in her home caring for her family, the ending I desired most. I could see it as clearly as I could see the white-sheeted-lump in front of me.

“How do I want to be regardless of the changing events that will unfold? How do I want a year’s worth of experiences ahead to form and shape who I am? Who I will be? What sort of mom? What manner of child of the King am I becoming?”

Those were the questions that like a tidal wave deluged my mind. Those were the questions that brought me my “ah-ha.”

Above all God is interested in what only He can see.

And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. 2 Cor. 3:18: NIV

“What do I not want to be true in my life in a year’s time?”

In a shadowed hospital room with a murky future, I knew bitterness could consume me. I was aware of the tentacles of doubt that strangled my prayers. I recognized my own efforts for reformation counted little. In fact, I knew only Jesus could possibly accomplish what I hoped for in a year from that day.

Without a doubt, as I write this, I’d like to be twenty pounds lighter, more patient, organize my house, invite my neighbors for a meal, and multiply my Facebook likes. Those are good goals which unfortunately, I repeat somewhat uselessly every year, like a spinning record.

But it’s easy to overlook the unseen character of a heart in process of transformation.

Moms, as you look ahead to another year, with dread or anticipation, stop and consider what only God can accomplish in you this next year.

Take time to consider how you might change routine to meet with Him more intentionally. How can prayer be incorporated into your family’s DNA? What steps would encourage heart transformation and grow your walk with Christ? What would make you a better mom and wife?

“Regardless of the outcome,” I wrote in my journal while I sat next to my daughter’s bedside, “in a year from today, I want my faith to be stronger. I want my inner being to be content in my knowledge of God’s sovereignty in each and every path He takes me through.”

A crystal-clear unveiled gaze into His glory directs the trajectory of our goals.


By: Sylvia Schroeder serves as Women’s Care Coordinator at Avant Ministries. Mom to four, grandma to 13, and wife to her one and only love, she enjoys writing about all of them. Find her blog at When the House is Quiet. Like her Facebook page or follow her on twitter.

Join us at for our parenting blog each Monday-Friday and for info about the Just 18 Summers novel.

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