A note from Kelly King: The first week of January isn’t over, but a lot of new year’s resolutions are. If you find yourself discouraged or needing grace, it can begin with you. As Kaye shares in this article today, maybe we all need to give ourselves a break and remember God’s mercies are new every day.
Do you make a new year’s resolution or are you more of a “word of the year” person? Perhaps you lean more toward course correcting or commitments. Whatever you choose to call it, the turn of the calendar page to the new year lends itself to thoughts and dreams of fresh starts and new beginnings. As I read and study Scripture, I am struck by a God who loves new beginnings. If your 2018 was marked more by pain than pleasure, then you are for sure longing for a fresh start.
We are four days into the new year, and I wonder how you are doing on your fresh commitments or goals. Are you making it happen or are you like so many who are already saying, “Maybe next year”? If you are struggling to keep your new start to a new year, may I encourage you to be kind to yourself? Romans 8:1 says, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (NIV). In the many conversations I have had with women across the country, one thing we are all really good at is self-condemnation. I have heard the phrase, “I’m just not good enough” over and over and over again, and to be honest, I may have even spoken it over myself a time or two. It seems we have grace for everyone in our lives except ourselves. This lack of grace for ourselves causes a lot of pain.
My prayer for us all as we enter the new year is that we lavish on ourselves the same grace we freely give to one another. If you are amazing at keeping your new year promises then you are in the minority. The rest of us have our resolutions on repeat. If this is your 4th start or your 40th, I encourage you to be curious and kind. Be curious about why you are in a cycle of repeating, and then be kind to yourself for starting over. The Bible speaks into the values of persistence and perseverance. Instead of condemning yourself for starting over, congratulate yourself! Starting over means you are still trying, still pursuing, and still leaning in. Don’t give up! I am proud of you for staying in the race!
I doubt the offers “as seen on tv” will produce a new you in the new year, but I do know Someone who is passionate about your progress. Revelation 21:5a says, “And He who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new’” (ESV). All things. I love the sound of that, especially when I am in a cycle of restarts or have been in a long season of pain or struggle. I don’t know when or how the struggle will end, but I do know one day our God will make all things new. That is the ultimate promise of a new year, new you!
Kaye Hurta has a Masters Degree in counseling from Liberty University and is a crisis counselor for Women’s Events through LifeWay Christian Resources. Whether speaking, singing, or listening, Kaye’s passion is to help others find intimacy with Christ and soul transformation through the living pages of His Word. Kaye met and married her husband Chris in Austin, Texas in 1987. They have two daughters through the miracle of adoption, Madison and Cami. They live in the Chicago burbs where they are both on staff at Willow Creek Community Church. Kaye is also a contributing author for the LifeWay resource, Women Reaching Women in Crisis.