I’ve been thinking a lot about why I love bringing in a New Year. I can’t really put into words the feeling I get on January first. A fresh start, a new beginning, a blank page, a new season of life. In some instances, a do over.
At the beginning of this year the Lord gave me a verse in Isaiah. It was a verse that I held tightly to all year long. Isaiah 43:19 “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.”
When He gave me this verse I was so completely devastated by the loss of my precious momma that I wondered what in the world could ever feel good again. Even the start of a new year, a new thing, couldn’t possibly feel like “streams in the wasteland.”
Everything felt like wasteland.
I was devastated and attempting to function. It was exhausting. I wanted so badly to see a new thing, to feel a new thing. That verse became my lifeline.
Over the year the Lord gave me several more verses and began to walk me down the road to healing. One small, painful step at a time. It has been so hard. But, here we are at the end of the year and I’m still breathing, still moving forward and beginning to feel joy more often.
So many of you have walked with me.
There are no words to describe grief. I’ve given up trying to tell people how I feel. And I’ve learned it is so different for everyone. This year felt very dark and heavy until recently. Now, the weight is beginning to lift, but the longing remains.
Love has a price.
So as this year has come to an end, I had to ask myself, what is the new thing the Lord promised?
I was going through box after box of books tonight. We remodeled our bedroom not long ago and I vowed that I was not going to put the giant unsightly bookshelf back in our new room. We have way more books than we will ever read. I felt convicted having this good information sitting collecting dust on a shelf when someone else could be reading it and benefiting from it.
So tonight I began the tedious task of going through each book one by one, fanning through the pages looking for any forgotten bookmarks or notes not meant to be passed on. As I looked at each book, each title, I began to notice a theme. For years I had collected books on prayer. Assorted titles, and authors and different angles on how to pray better or more effectively. Or the occasional book that was a testimony to the power of prayer. Book after book.
Many I had read or started to read, but some I had not. I’m sure I fully intended to read them when I bought them. Then it occurred to me that as much as I wanted to learn to pray from reading a book, the lesson could not be learned until I experienced something so much bigger than myself that I had no other choice but to pray. It was pray or drown in my grief. Do or die.
Some lessons are learned the hard way. Through experience.
As the theme became obvious to me, I remembered that I had asked the Lord to show me the new thing He had done this year. I had my ideas, but I wanted Him to show me the work that He had promised.
His answer was clear. As clear as the hundred books on the subject that I had rummaged through earlier. Books I read and internalized years before.
He taught me to pray. To really pray.
Prayer rescued me.
It is still rescuing me.
I am so desperate to continue to grow in 2016. I have volumes to learn and lots more healing to experience. I need more of Jesus. That’s it, simply put. I need more of His presence in my life, more of His love in my heart and more transparency because of His grace.
I am so glad you are on this journey with me. I cannot tell you how many times I have thanked God for each of you.
Here’s to a New Year, a fresh start and a blank page. Something new.