Out with the old, in with the new!
This past year has held some truly beautiful moments, as well as some very difficult ones. I didn’t accomplish all I wish I had, but I have come to know Jesus’ faithfulness more intimately, his sufficiency in spite of my weakness, and grace’s balm for every circumstance. I imagine you can relate.
Big things have happened in the last twelve months. Our new home stands out as one of God’s’ dearest gifts. As if he leaned down and kissed my cheek tenderly. I could almost hear him say, “I know my heart has become your home, and it always will be, but you need a place to lay your head and raise a family, this is for you.” There are no words for such kindness, so I raise my head and my hands and the praise flows daily. For those of you who know my story you know I’ve spent many years in temporary places and living in other people’s homes, it just makes the gift that much sweeter.
Along with the amazing moments – traveling to Serbia, sweet family time, growing friendships, my son’s baptism, a new kitty friend, lot’s of writing and learning – there have also been moments that have knocked the air from my lungs. Friendships have unraveled, my heart has wrestled with cancer as an intimate part of our family, criticism, a messy move, and unrealized dreams. For sure it’s been a full year.
As Christmas is drawing to an end and the new year looks me in the face I feel frayed at the edges. The only explanation I have is my awareness of what life is capable of being. There are no guarantees that cancer will leave us alone, that the house will stand untouched by tragedy, or the dream of publishing my book will be realized. The weariness of doing it all again stands at my shoulder reminding me that the need for submissive trust and sacrificial love calls out unabated. None of us can escape the hard work of living.
As my mom and I were talking lately we agreed this new year is reminding us that we can’t escape the need to die to ourselves and live to Jesus every, single, day. Putting into practice the lesson’s of joy we’ve learned and walking in obedience is necessary, and hard. So I lay down the last year and it’s contents, trusting Jesus’ grace is enough to cover every single moment; and I pick up the task of living this new year and rest on the only certainty I have, God is faithful.
Not a Resolution but a Purpose
I’m not much of a resolver. Resolving to stop a habit, start a habit, change my behavior, or accomplish a goal is just an invitation to disappointment for me. I don’t have that kind of will power. Instead I choose to embrace purpose for the year ahead.
Perhaps you feel the same way. If we embrace the purpose God has shaped in our hearts, pealing away the distractions and evaluating all we do against that purpose, we will naturally find our dreams being realized, goals being accomplished, good habits established, relationships thriving.
What is your purpose? I think we can start here: All who follow Jesus have been given the purpose of elevating God’s glory, making disciples, and serving our world. What that looks like for you and what that looks like for me is where the creativity and adventure comes in.
What dream has God whispered into your heart? What makes your heart race with excitement? What circumstances do you find yourself in? Those are starting places for worship, for making God known, for loving others. They are the building blocks of your purpose.
I’m honing in on prayer, communicating truth, loving my neighbors, building bridges, and serving my family as I flesh out purpose in this new year.
And you? Where are you focusing your energy, what purpose are you pursuing?