A Letter from the Past: New Years Edition

Saturday, 31 December 2016

I love New Years; the opportunity to reflect and look back at all God has accomplished in my life and the grace he's given me! This year, I reflected in a journel entry I wrote back in 2013! Re-reading it gives me such joy and fills me with peace as I see so many heartaches and unanswered prayers be answered over the past 3 years! I pray it encourages you!

"My heart skips a beat. My stomach tightens, and my fingers tremble. Tomorrow's dusk will be the kiss of goodbye to 2013, and the next morning's dawn will bring with it 2014. A brand new year.

A new year holds in it's hands the impossible blend of nostalgia and anticipation. It is where dread and excitement meet. The end of a year culminates with frustration, pain, awe, or disappointment as you review the boxes left unmarked on your to-do lists or the year's unaccomplished list of resolutions. Within the same breath, joy and elatement springs forward as you gather a fresh, un-blemished slice of white pristine paper; your pen poised in your hand, thoughts circulating flowing throw as this specific 1st of the month breeds a promise to begin a new list of goals.... a second chance.

Initially, I groaned inwardedly as tomorrow creeps slowly towards me while one minute by one minute time is ticked off the clock. I can't stop time from passing, or change from occurring. But there are words he uses to pause me. Ann Voskamp wrote an increidble post on how she is facing the uncharted territory of the new year while releasing this past year. Click Here to read her response.

I am a list maker. I thrive on physically writing down my goals, my dreams, my day-to-day lists, and of course I love to make resolutions with each new year. However, this year, my response toward the new year was far from friendly. Looking back over the past year, my natural inclination would be to dismiss the beautiful divinely orchestrated "God moments" with carelessness; to only see a muted grey over the 365 days of breath I've lived. But His Spirit tugs at me and I'm reminded: by His grace, I have lived each of the 365 days in 2013 with virbant color marking an endless sky of beauty and awe- of which only the glory spells His name.

As the feelings of the end and a new beginning circulate, I chose to capture how the Spirit painted His work in my life in 2013 through the following list, reasons of which to be thankful:

I chose love, to love the girl who unkowningly hurt me...because love first chose me (John 15:12).
I chose joy as I faced financial tightness of buying my own car because I totaled the one gifted to me (Romans 12:12)
I chose peace, to live forgiven and to forgive the ones who left scars with their words (Matt. 18:21-35).
I chose patience, to pray and fill my mind with truth when love & marriage seems distant (Ps 37:5).
I chose kindness, embracing and cherishing the physical and internal beauty of myself and those surrounding me... He is teaching me to see His creation how He sees them
I chose goodness, to give the only $10 bill in my wallet to the woman standing with a sign on the corner (Proverbs 3:27).
I chose faithfulness, to write down & pray for the prayer requests someone asks of me (Hebrews 12:1-2)
I chose gentleness, to pray over and softly rub the frantically screaming child's back for the whole service as he cries from fear of being in a new sunday school class away from momma (Isaiah 40:11)
I chose self-control, to honor how I treat my body by running regularly instead of opting for laziness (2 Timothy 1:7).

Because at the end of the year, the truth remains:Calvary set me free.

Free to chose if my year controls me or if I control my year. And for this reason, I choose. I choose these moments to remember. These moments of tiny victories where the Spirit, through me, led a life painted by the colors of the fruits of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These moments I succeeded because of Him.

So, instead of sharing my 2014 new year's resolutions, I chose to share the joy of giving thanks to a God who did use me in this last year. Who did work through me despite the failures clamoring to crowd out the rays of His glory shining through me.

As I face the dawn of 2014, and all 365 days it brings in tow, I praise the One for each moment I lived 2013....
the moments of crumbling to my knees saying "please, no more",
for each moment I thrived as I felt His joy radiate through my smile,
for each moment I panicked questioning His presence and work in my life,
for each moment I wanted to just quit but perseverance held me fast,
for each moment His love reached my heart warming it as tears often found their way down my freckled-cheeks,
for each moment I stomped my foot yelling "no" and He gently held me and replied "yes",
for each moment I ran as far as I could as fast as I could, while He patiently waited for me to turn back,
for each moment I felt my heart shatter and He showed me the gentleness and humility the breaking rendered.

There was destruction and fire... ash laid land barren. But, His plans were building. Growth pushed baby green buds through the desolate soil.

In reflection, beauty was undeniable, faith was impenetrable, and change was uncontrollable.

Instead of writing out your NYE resolutions, chose to remember the past year with gratitude by writing out the moments etched on your heart where you fell forward just as you were falling apart. "because falling forward is what makes music" and music is the soundtrack of a life well-lived.


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