...3, 2, 1!
It's midnight. I'm sat on my husband's lap, opposite our friends and we're watching the New Year roll in. More accurately, we're celebrating being able to go to bed because we've already had fun eating together, chatting and drinking G+T's and have all agreed that midnight as a curfew - is just too late.
True story. But believe it or not, I love to celebrate the New Year (just maybe more in the day, than at bedtime).
For me, New Year is the perfect reminder of the excitement I felt when I met Jesus. Here's this man offering me the opportunity to be something, to start over and to be new. Not only do I get an absolute fresh start, but I can leave my past in His hands to be dealt with. That means everything I was before can become new too - all my shame, my failures and my regrets, they all can be transformed for good! Just like me.
Maybe you don't feel the same way. Some people find New Year's scary, all the unknown ahead of you. And what if you're going into the new year with old baggage? What then?
Well, join the club.
Last year my parents told me they're getting a divorce. As it turns out, my Dad has been having a secret affair for 10 years. My life as I knew it and he, as I knew him - drastically changed from that moment.
So if you're carrying something heavy into 2018 - believe me, I feel you.
But the truth remains - God is in the business of transformation.
Transforming hearts: Ezekiel 36:26
"Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh."
Renewing minds: Romans 12:2
"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect."
Giving fresh starts: 2 Corinthians 5:17
"Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come."
Making us holy: Colossians 1:21-22
"And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach..."
You know that program, Extreme Makeover? While you're away, a team of people come to your house and totally redesign, rebuild and remodel it. Well, this is kind of like that - except not.
Of course God wants to take everything you're carrying and transform it. But He's not about to come in without your permission to the darkest, most painful places in your heart and start tearing down walls and renovating!
God loves connection. He hungers for us to want Him, turn to Him and allow Him in. He's got good manners.
He knocks until we answer - but He won't burst the door down, my friends!
But when you do let Him in - the opportunities are limitless.
He is a boundless, infinite God.
Imagine what 2018 could look like for you with your life in the hands of someone who knows no bounds, no limits and no obstacles?
- Your baggage - give it to Him, he'll give you healing.
- Your dreams - give them to Him and ask Him to help you grow.
- Your fears - give them to Him and ask Him to comfort you.
Who doesn't want health, growth and comfort? That's what I want in 2018.