I Feel It In My Heart

There’s a part of me that gets cynical about January and everyone’s New Year’s Resolutions.

I guess that’s probably because I know that in Christ, I can start over at any moment.

In the past I’ve felt like New Year’s Day is just a generic version to nonbelievers of the new start that believers get to experience in Christ every day. And it is true that we need to acknowledge our new mercies in God every single morning, even before our feet hit the ground running.

But I’m not letting this January pass by without acknowledging it for what it is – a chance to start over. A chance to say yes to refinement. A chance to say yes to the unknown and the scary, because it just might take its vague mask off and be revealed as God’s best.

I could sulk in all the promises I haven’t kept to myself and others in 2015, or I could take it one day at a time and give 2016 everything I’ve got.

I could stay stuck in the last chapter of my life, or I could let myself hope fearlessly like a small child at what’s around the corner.

I’m not naïve. I know that in 2016 I will grow up in ways that I never wish I needed to. I know that the story that unfolds will not include everything I plan for and what does come to pass will not come along with perfection as its sidekick. But perfection has never been the point. Waking up and looking for abundant life in Christ even on the foggiest days has always been the point.

If my life were a movie, I want 2016 to be like the scene when the small town girl cuts her hair and moves to New York City. She’s still the same person, with all the same secrets and hurts. But she’s brave and courageous. She quiets the lies in her head just long enough to believe that she is somehow worthy of choosing a better life for herself.

In 2016:

I want to get a natural tan and learn to enjoy running a distance that requires endurance.

I’m hoping my contact list in my phone grows longer, and my thighs get smaller, but most of all I hope that my heart swells larger.

I want to write more than I’ve ever written before. I don’t want to write for myself. I’m asking God that it wouldn’t just be for me. Words and daily life and love are nothing if they aren’t ever meant for something outside of ourselves. I’m asking Him to destroy my pride and to mold me into a more beautiful woman of God, unique and content with not being like all the rest.

I don’t want to be so afraid. I don’t want to sit down with the liars anymore and let them dine with me long enough that I begin believing what God came to obliterate. I want to live like I know I’m loved.

I want to steep myself into God’s Word. I want to not just pray like it’s a simple four letter word that Christians talk about all the time. I desire to let it become a real conversation addressing His majesty and Fatherhood first, teaching myself how to see all my pesky hurts and requests underneath that umbrella of eternal comfort.

There’s a lot I have in mind – like all the music that I’ll consider as a soundtrack written only for me, the iced coffee I’ll drink, the love letters I’ll craft, the humans I’ll hug, and the streams of tears I’ll wipe into my sweater sleeve. The new job I’ll begin, all the babies I’ll snuggle, and this next school year bringing more emotions than any before.

But no matter what comes, I want to be aware of my surroundings. I want to take more notes than pictures. I want to look up at the stars and into someone’s eyes more than I look at a screen. I want to pray more than I grumble. I want to read a lot of really good books. I refuse to wish this year away.

But in all these tiny gifts known and still unknown, I want each one to point to the God that came down, wrecked every lie, and saved us all.

I want 2016 to be a year that later in life, whether I’m on a stage or in my grandchild’s living room, I’ll look up with a twinkle in my eye as I begin a story and say, “I’ll never forget that year.”

Let’s begin 2016 believing that it will be a love story dedicated to all those who enter it and come after the last page is written, and that it won’t be another well-crafted apology to the universe for being human.

This is our chance to sing obnoxiously loud while we pretend we’re at a crowded karaoke party: “I feel it in my heart. The start of something new.”

 

StoriesEmilee Clemons