Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Renewal

Last year went by in the blink of an eye. It's true that the days are long but the years are short. I must start 2013 by apologizing: I've been quite morose lately. On the blog and in real life. Introverted, introspective, and greatly concerned with things of no great importance.

I know that in many ways, today is just another Tuesday. I'm so grateful, though, that it's a tangible bookmark. It's a milestone met. It's a reminder that in Christ, the old has gone and the new has come {2 Corinthians 5:17}. There is hope! And life! And a fresh start that relies not upon my own resolve or self-control, but God's mercy!


How beautiful that we awoke to a snow-covered ground this morning. Last winter was ugly and brown, but this winter we had a fresh snowfall before Christmas and New Year. A wonderful reminder that in our perpetual sin, God's grace can still cover us. Indeed, "because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness!" {Lamentations 3:22-23}

I'm not making resolutions this year, because 2012 taught me that when I make plans, God laughs. In fact, it's like Anne Lewis says: "There are four ways God answers prayer: No, not yet; No, I love you too much; Yes, I thought you'd never ask; Yes, and here's more." My goal for this year and for all the days remaining to me is to sit in God's presence daily, and to be present in daily life: the good and the bad, the messy and the real. I want to be mindful of Him, and allow HIM to direct my paths.

When I worry, I cling to the idols of control and busyness (which slays me because I hate busyness yet I fill my days with it). But when I hope in Christ, I find joy even amidst my sorrows. In light of that, I do want to share my favorite moment of 2012. It whispers of deep pain before and great hope after. Like this first day of the new year, it marks the end of one extremely difficult journey, and the beginning of a somehow more challenging one, but a truer one.

Ross and I renewed our wedding vows at dusk on Friday, July 13, 2012 beneath the heavy realization that we are not enough. We can't make our lives good. We cannot pay the price for our own failures or those of our spouse: it's too much to bear. Thankfully, at exactly the right moment, God intervened and knocked us off our feet. He pulled us out of deep waters. This past spring, we both saw things clearly for the first time. As two sinners striving to love selflessly, we're still learning a great deal about God's love. Even when our spouse fails us or betrays us in big or small ways (as they inevitably will), we are still called to love them as God loves us-- sin and stubbornness and all. Only God never disappoints.

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When Ross came to pick me up to meet the pastor that evening, this song started playing on the radio and it sums up this past year perfectly. It's so filled with hope, and I couldn't have said anything better myself.

Redeemed by Big Daddy Weave

Seems like all I could see was the struggle  
Haunted by ghosts that lived in my past  
Bound up in shackles of all my failures  
Wondering how long is this gonna last?  
Then You look at this prisoner and say to me, son  
Stop fighting a fight that's already been won 

And I am redeemed  
You set me free  
So I'll shake off these heavy chains  
and wipe away every stain  
I am redeemed  
I'm redeemed

All my life I have been called unworthy 
Named by the voice of my shame and regret  
But when I hear You whisper,  
child lift up your head, 
I remember, oh God,  
You're not done with me yet

And I am redeemed  
You set me free  
So I'll shake off these heavy chains  
and wipe away every stain  
Now I'm not who I used to be.  
Because I don't have to be 
the old man inside of me 
'cause his day is long dead and gone
Because I've got a new name, 
a new life, I'm not the same  
And a hope that will carry me home

I am redeemed  
You set me free  
So I'll shake off these heavy chains  
and wipe away every stain  
'cause I'm not who I used to be  
Oh, God, I'm not who I used to be  
Jesus, I'm not who I used to be  
'cause I am redeemed  

Thank God, redeemed




1 comment:

  1. Jesus never fails us when we lean on HIM. Ron and Bettie

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