Sunday, December 30, 2012

I Found a New Beginning

The year is rapidly coming to a close and so many of us will start Tuesday morning with a new beginning. 

Personally, I think I’ve experienced several new beginnings this year. I’ve asked for forgiveness and received radical grace for which I am undeniably grateful. I believe in a God that loves me and created situations and scenarios in which the lesson is lasting or relearned, again and again.

The new beginning started on a night as simple as this one about five months ago. I was writing a blog post on July 31, 2012 about friendships in a constantly changing world. In fact, I think that’s the title of the blog post. In it, you can tell there was a struggle to identify a constant in my life besides God.

I wrote, “Driving to work, while doing laundry, or even staring down the road of nothing on a treadmill, I’ll think of people and wonder if any of the people in my life are perchance the one person who makes all the torn seams come together.”

No one has to tell me twice that if you count on people for that, you’re destined for disappointment. We’re all imperfect and none of us can really be that one person. However, I do believe that Jesus shows up in disguise when we least expect it.

Also, in the weeks and months that followed, I saw just how unique and precise some friendships are and therefore, so are the people in our lives. 

A few days later, while evidently deeply internalizing that statement I found myself compelled to sit and write letters to people. When I got to the last one, a song by the Christian band The Sidewalk Prophets came on the radio. It’s called, “The Words I Would Say.” As I was writing, I unexpectedly wept. 

It had dawned on me, quite blatantly, that God had put people in my life for very specific reasons and I had been completely ignorant to it, and them. In a split second, a flush of moments came rushing back into my mind. I blinked, and shook my head, and couldn’t believe the intense cathartic response. 

God gave me a second chance, an intense nudging, to recognize who walked in when everyone else walked out, who encouraged strengths when I only heard others highlighting faults, and who was just so subtly always there. I had to humbly surrender to the unshakeable need to put pen to paper. All I wanted to do was say, “Thank you.”

What happened next took me by surprise, and resulted in a continued great sense of clarity and conviction of that still, small voice that guides me even to this moment. 

As 2012 comes to a close, the reverberations of that one night are still felt and heard. It is a resounding defining moment of the year for me and served as a turning point.

I humbly surrendered, again, knowing full well there is nothing in life I can do completely on my own, I need Him. I give all glory to God. 

I found a new beginning. I believe in second (third, fourth, fifth...) chances.

I found an inexpressible joy. 

So, to 2013, I say, “Bring it.” 

2 Peter 5:10 (NIV)
“And the God of all grace, who called you to 
his eternal glory in Christ, after you have 
suffered a little while, will himself restore you
and make you strong, firm, and steadfast.”

Joshua 1:9 (NIV)
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and
courageous. Do not be terrified; do not
be discouraged, for the Lord your God will
be with you wherever you go.”

I Kings 19:12 (NIV)
“After the earthquake came a fire, but the
Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire
came a gentle whisper.”

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