New year, new me.
Every heard of that phrase? I’m sure you have.
Each year when the clock strikes midnight on NYE, the internet is flooded with tweets and selfies with this quote.
But, do they mean it?
Does anyone ever feel that way?
I don’t, that’s for sure.
The closest I get to feeling like a “new” me at the beginning of the year is a more tired version of myself… And I don’t quite think that’s what they meant when they created that saying.
I want to feel new.
I want to embrace the new year with excitement and energy.
But sometimes, I don’t.
Sometimes, it feels quite the opposite.
The year may be new, but:
And to be frank, that leaves me feeling very tired, and sometimes, alone.
In moments, if I let it, I catch myself becoming bitter and cynical to see everyone starting workout plans, diets, planners, projects, and making resolutions they probably won’t keep – that I couldn’t keep. I feel like I can’t keep up with it all. I become withdrawn and fearful and small.
Because everyone else has it all together and I’m the only one who feels this way, right?
That is a lie, and it’s a lie straight from the enemy himself in order to isolate.
To isolate from friends, family, community, and from the Lord.
Unlike the change in year, this is not a new occurrence.
The enemy is CONSTANTLY trying to break you down and will stop at nothing to make you feel distant from everything good, holy, and graceful that the Lord has created for us.
Which is why, this year, I am going to be transparent when I’m feeling disconnected, discouraged, like I’m not enough, and like I don’t quite measure up when I need to.
All of it. All of that mess.
When we are open about what we are experiencing, including the messy stuff, that is when real love happens, that is when we find grace and healing, and I believe that is a time when we really experience Jesus.
Doesn’t that sound refreshing?
I can’t think of anything better than truly experiencing Jesus and all he has for me.
But that can’t happen to its full potential when I’m constantly exhausted from this world and the lie of pretending everything is okay all of the time. None of us can.
So, will you join me? Will you stand in community to say that you won’t hide behind the facade that everything is perfect, and wonderful, and stress free, and….. I could go on and on. Will you agree to celebrate in community when things are happy?
And will you equally agree to bend down and show comfort, grace, love, and support when things aren’t so happy?
Have real, intentional conversations over coffee.
Write letters and texts of encouragement.
Tell someone you’re going to pray for then, and then actually pray for them.
Have conversations about doubts, fears, and insecurities.
Ask how someone is and care about their answer.
Support those you know trying our a new eating plan, exercise program, or hobby.
Let people into your mess, and enter into theirs without judgement.
Let the house be a mess for a little while in order to practice self care.
Stop comparing your sink of dirty dishes to a perfectly polished kitchen on Instagram.
Do whatever it is that you have to do to bring you closer to Jesus and I’ll be here to walk through it with you.
This year, I’m not necessarily focused on being a ‘new’ me the way the world would consider, I’m focused on Jesus.
“We won’t be perfect on this side of heaven. But Jesus is perfect. Always. We are becoming more holy and true. Jesus already is. His name isn’t “Becoming.” It is “I Am.” Perfection isn’t the goal. Jesus is.”
-Stasi Eldredge, Becoming Myself: Embracing God’s Dream of You.
Let’s be intentional. Let’s drop the act of perfection. Let’s experience Jesus.
Let’s make 2018 the most full, wholly holy year yet.