So we are entering into New Years season; I hope you are prepared for everyone to be screaming, “new year, new you!” at you with their peppy workout plans and Instagram goals. In all seriousness though, I’m all about goal setting, and I love thinking about new themes for new years. If I am around you anytime in the next month, expect me to ask you about that.
But this year something feels different, a little deeper. God has been walking me out of a season of burnout, and into a season of living fully alive. He has asked me to give up some things, some easy and some much harder. But I am choosing to say the hard no in order to experience the new yeses He has for me in the future. I have no idea what these new yeses are, other than a few hatching dreams, which is the beauty of this newness. And when I realized and admitted that saying no feels a whole lot like quitting or failure, He said it again: “No, I am inviting you into a new season.”
It’s a new season.
Within these four words, so much is stirring. In the midst of busyness and feeling overwhelmed and, honestly, in over my head with the speed and weight of my own life, God spoke these four words over me. Have you ever had a word or phrase just kind of come to you, and then bounce around in your head for a while? It was like He tenderly whispered it to me, sending it on the wind until I finally caught it and kept it.
It’s a new season.
This phrase honestly isn’t even really about the new year, as much as I love New Years. Every day is a new day, every moment a new moment. It is the lovely thing about God – He is always making things new. He is always inviting us into a new season.
Remember how I told you about the “perhaps prayers” that my friend and I are praying? This is exactly like that, isn’t it? Perhaps implies not knowing. It implies surprise. I am loving this idea that maybe God is always surprising us – and we can choose to either be scared or to be excited.
I don’t want to doubt and question God (“what the heck are you doing?”), but rather I want to live in expectation for what He has in store (“what will you do today?”). Living in expectation is a constant assumption of His goodness. Life with God is a grand adventure.
If your life with God is boring, what invitation are you ignoring?
When we face uncertainty, as we surely will in this life, we can choose to be afraid or choose to be surprised. We will benefit most from a posture of expectation, rather than being riddled with fear. How many times do we need to remind ourselves:
fear is worth nothing; fear is just a coward that wants to make you one too.
I have been at home for the holidays, which (if you’ve been reading along) you know I was highly anticipating. Returning home is always an interesting and weird experience. Something about driving by the old middle school and being surrounded by childhood pictures can make it feel like I am still that old version of myself sometimes. It can start to feel like the growth and change of the past years didn’t entirely stick. But I was reminded that in all of our circumstances (and really regardless of our circumstances), God is always saying: “You’re not who you were, anymore!” The new you is who you really are. Your realest, you-est you. (Sounds a little Dr. Suess-esque, but still.)
This newness is the Gospel. In the most shocking, earth-shattering act of newness, Jesus walked out of the grave declaring ALL of us alive! all of us new! “He is not here; He has risen.” = The old is GONE. New life has come, and is always coming. The resurrection is our story, too.
Isaiah 43:19 says, “Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?”
He is asking us: Are you paying attention? I am always doing something new. Watch me.
It’s why my favorite T-Swift lyric is “today is never too late to be brand new.” TRUTH, TAY!
This year, but really today and everyday, let’s walk into newness. Leave behind the false self, the anger, the heartbreak, the insecurity, the fear, whatever else you might have hid behind. You’re not who you were!
And what God is calling you towards? That new season He is inviting you into? Don’t wait to say yes. Be obedient now. Say the big and bold YES. As one of my friends told me, “He didn’t say, ‘It will be a new season.'” It already is.
Claim newness as your identity. It is yours to claim.
Believe in God’s goodness and plan to be surprised.
Accept the invitation into a new season.
It’s gonna be fun, I can tell already.
I want to leave you with these questions:
- What from the “old you” keeps sneaking back into your life? What patterns do you find yourself continually stuck in?
- What invitation is God extending to you right now? Are you finding reasons to ignore it?
- What would it look like for you to walk into a new season? Where do you need to experience newness?
Friend, what I wish I could do for you today is sit with you and have you write down the lies and the “old” on paper and we would crumple them up and make a beautiful fire out of them. And then we could sit around its warmth and I’d tell you all the ways God is evident in you and your life. I’d love to speak the truth of your worth and identity and the absolute treasure you are to this earth, and ask you about the ways He is making you new. So I challenge you today to find someone to remind you that it is a new season (and return the favor) – the old is gone, the new has come!! CELEBRATE THAT.
Let the adventure begin!!