Happy New Year, y'all!
Cheers to new beginnings! I LOVE ringing in the new year. There's something so beautiful to me about getting a fresh start. God gives us one every morning, but I love taking a bird's eye view of the year at hand and making a plan to pursue health and love and wellness. I wonder how many of you have new years resolutions? I know I have several: Get more sleep. Spend more time in meditation. Start a workout plan. Read a book a month. Find somewhere local to serve each month. While I'm at it, I might as well add in eating a little better in general. Oh, and I forgot, being more organized with my schedule and my time. The list of self-betterment can go on and on and on. So often, about two weeks into the New Year, I'm already feeling like a failure, measuring my worth by how resolved I am to keep up with my list of things to do. Anyone else with me here?
I'm not saying it's bad to have resolutions, and I know it is beneficial to have self-discipline, but my goodness, so often there is a boatload of shame that follows my inability to keep up with all the good things I plan for myself every new year. And here's the deal...there is NO place for shame in the gospel. So in the name of overcoming the self-loathing that generally comes knocking around the end of January, I'd just like to say this out loud to myself and to you: YOU ARE LOVED. You are wonderfully made, and there's nothing that will stop God's love for you. You can't make Him love you more by keeping all your resolutions. You can't make Him love you less by breaking all of them. Grace is weightless.
I bless you and I bless myself as we aim to be the best versions of ourselves and to take care of our bodies and souls, but may we first and foremost know that we are wonderfully made by the God of the universe, and may we rest in knowing that we are deeply loved. If I can abide in Him and stand in the truth of His love for me, it's the most transformative thing of all. In place of self-critique this year, what would happen if we actually took God at His word and believed that what He says about us is true? My prayer is that we might see ourselves through His eyes this year.
"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." - Psalm 139:13-14
I'll leave you with the song I wrote to try to get this message through my thick head. I hope it helps you lift your eyes to see the way He looks at you. There is also a beautiful spoken word that the ever lovely and passionate Gloria Umanah wrote and performed at my show in Atlanta last year woven into this video. I hope her words will wash over you and refresh your heart as you head into this new year, knowing that whether you keep your resolutions or not, you are wonderfully made and deeply loved.
Happy 2018, friends!