When I was younger, I was always excited that a new chance was beginning, a year to go on to bigger and better things. Things to look forward too, things to leave behind.
I still feel that way somewhat, but I definitely find myself a bit nostalgic for the year that I'm leaving behind. The memories that were made, the stages of life that are sometimes left behind.
I also find myself feeling guilt and frustration over things that I didn't accomplish in the previous year. Vowing that this year will be better, I will finally do those things that I've vowed to do in years past but not accomplished. Less yelling, less swearing, more patience, more self control, being more intentional.
But lately I've really been trying to think things a bit differently. I don't have to do those things that I want to or think I should. Yes, it would be nice to do some if not all of them, but I don't have to. I am loved just the way I am. My husband loves me just as I am, my family loves me just as I am, my children love me just as I am, and most importantly God loves me just as I am.
I remember a message from an old pastor quite awhile back on the subject of God's grace, and he explained it this way; "There is nothing you can do to make God love you any more or any less, that is the grace of God." I remember hiding that away in my head, but I don't find myself hiding it in my heart.
I am VeRy hard on myself, I am great at listing all my shortcomings. Those shortcomings that keep me back, that make me say to myself that I must remedy them before I can more on. Things will get better once those go away, the guilt that I feel will clear up once those "weaknesses" do.
When I remember that I am loved by God just as I am, and my favor with Him does not rest in how I feel about myself I feel the guilt subside. I feel that He will use me in spite of my weakness and my failures. That I can fulfill my purpose here no matter whether or not I have my act together. Not only do I not have to have it all together, I can use my brokenness to God's glory.
"But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me." 2 Corinthians 12:9
I am excited to see what the new year holds for me, for my family and those I love. I'm excited to see how my walk with God will deepen. How my transparency can lead to greater peace and less guilt. I am praying for peace, in my head, in my heart, and for this world in the upcoming year.