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New Year - New Way

"Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one." -- Brad Paisley

“This is a new year. A new beginning. And things will change.” ― Taylor Swift

So many quotes to pick from at the beginning of the new year- all voiced in an attempt to inspire and motivate. Apparently, we want change. We want to be better, do better, have more or less, evaluate our goals and strive hard to achieve our dreams.

Starting January 1st- we can begin a brand-new story. At least, that’s what we are told.

Please don't misunderstand. I believe setting goals and striving to better ourselves is admirable. It is the pressure that I detest and the method that I challenge.

As I looked back on this past year, I painfully realized the year held more sickness and challenges than I would have liked. I certainly didn’t see any of them ahead of me when I was looking forward to the new year last January 1st!

So, I like this quote better-

"You don't always need a plan. Sometimes you just need to breathe, trust, let go and see what happens." -- Mandy Hale

This one speaks to me because it goes against my normal instincts and past resolutions.

I know this might sound strange, but it also reminds me of the Israelites’ journey of wandering in the desert for forty years found in the Book of Numbers. If you know the story, God frees the Israelites from slavery in Egypt and tasks Moses with leading them to the “promised land.” The events in this Bible book begin in the second year after the Israelites are freed and end thirty-eight years later when they finally arrive on the banks of the Jordan River across from the Promised Land.

40 long hard "new" years.

A relatable story to our modern-day strife as it tells of a people that desperately wanted a new beginning, but they wanted it their way and in their timing. When it didn’t make sense, when it got hard and took longer than they expected they began to complain and cling to the past. They doubted God’s goodness and eventually threw up their hands in defeat.

By not trusting in God and trying so hard to write their own story things did not turn out as they had hoped.

Sound familiar?

It is their arduous journey that should speak to us with a resounding boom! A journey (like many of our own) that was unplanned, confusing, and required patience and trust in God for every single step along the way.

Isaiah 43:19 tells us:

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

Like the Israelites, God calls us to give our plans over to Him. He is capable of genuinely making our lives new. He can bring up springs in our deserts and walk with us in our times of need.

As Christians, always remember that we may have to walk through many deserts, but we never walk alone, and God will never call us to live permanently in desolation. He always has a plan, a new way, a new beginning - we just have to trust Him for it!

So, whatever this new year may bring in your life, take a deep breath, give everything over to God and trust.

He will always provide, and the best part- it isn't all up to us!

Thank you, Father, for this new year. You alone are the God of new beginnings. Even when we wander through the desert, tired and uncertain, we can walk boldly because you are with us. It is when we faithfully place our hopes and dreams in your hands that you deliver. You can be trusted to provide what is best, and your timing is perfect. Great is your faithfulness.

“Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” ~Lamentations 3:22-23

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