Entering into a new year feels like stepping into a new set of clothes. The clothes of the year before feel worn out, tired, ragged and dirty. It is just time to change. The past twelve months carried a lot of heartache intermixed with joy. A lot of sorrow, and a whole lot of wear and tear on my soul.
The year before that consisted of travelling, walking with my father through a major stomach resection surgery, and parenting through some of the most difficult months with our young toddler. The year before that was marked by a major move, along with new endeavors in a new place with new people.
As this year begins, I can feel a sense of newness in the air, an excitement for what is to come. I am empowered by the fact that anything can happen. There are possibilities for things to be made new, chief of those being myself, my soul, my inner spirit.
This empowerment comes in large part from my earthly dad, who through his final months of life displayed what it is like to anticipate heaven. He spent time with his heavenly father and with us, his family, knowing that those were two of the most important things he could do. He didn’t rush off to skydive or climb one more mountain, or DO anything else. Instead, he took deep breaths in, spent quiet time alone, and prioritized time with the ones he loved.
I want that to be what this new year is like.
Time with the ones I love.
At the start of a new year, it feels intuitive to hope for new accomplishments. New goals to be accomplished, new projects, new THINGS that we can see, touch, feel, or check off our list to make ourselves ‘better.’
As much as this is typically my order of thinking, these things are no longer what excites me.
We have had so much ‘new’, so much going and doing over the past few years, I am more apt to want nothing at ALL to happen in the coming months. And yet, I still have this anticipation for what is to come.
I believe that this feeling is rooted in the truth that I have been taught from the time I was a little girl: Our God, our Father who loves us and wants what is best for us is making all things new.
While I know that this is true for the world as a whole, I can sense that He is making things new inside of me. There is not a new profession on the horizon, or project, or action item that He is getting ready to impart to me per se. But He is allowing me to step into new clothes, clean ones. Freshly pressed, ready for a new adventure with Him with new endurance.
He is looking inside of me and gently, slowly, drawing out the things that no longer need to be there. The hurt, the negative patterns of thinking, all the things that keep me from being my true self.
He is leading me to enter once again into the daily communion that makes up a life with Him. True life, in the Kingdom that has both already come and is to come. No demands, no criticism, no expectations. Only that I would accept the new clothes and put them on. I imagine them as lounge clothes because to be honest that is what I need right now.
He is there, with open arms, ready to listen, to love, and to be loved.
He desires for me to place all of the things that get me sidetracked, hung up and “stuck” into his hands so that we can agree on a way to walk away from them together.
He’s reminding me that all He really wants is to know me, and for me to know Him.
Because isn’t that the chief goal of our lives anyway? Isn’t that the best thing we can attain?
At the end of my dad’s life, he didn’t wish that he had gained more awards, accolades, or made a bigger ‘name’ for himself on this earth.
He just wanted more time with Jesus. Honestly. In his final days, he was most frustrated by the fact that he couldn’t physically get up to go sit by himself and talk to God alone.
That is what has set my perspective in this new year.
It makes me smile to think about what awaited my dad after that frustration, after he shook off his former body and put on his brand new one, right there in the presence of his savior.
Life is short, friends.
Seek out what you truly need this year, and if it means digging into the deep, dark, scary places, do it. It’s worth it, and there is a good, true helper waiting to walk alongside of you as you become new. It’s possible, to become your true self. It really is.
And it’s the greatest accomplishment you will achieve in your lifetime, that I can promise you.