The great thing about being a Christian is that you don’t have to wait until January 1st of every year to begin anew.
II Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
When I moved to the Seattle area I got into an apartment that was much smaller than the one I had in Idaho. Because of that I’ve had to store my 500+ book collection in my boyfriend’s closet. One day as I was digging around in there looking for a particular book I stumbled across a notebook I hadn’t recalled seeing in a long time. I pulled it out of the stack and started flipping through it, discovering that it was an old prayer journal of mine from a few years prior.
What really stood out was that only the first 10 or so pages were written in; the remainder of the book was blank. What happened to this journal that only the first portion was used but then left to sit there, pages left untouched?
I started reading the entries, smiling with each page. Over the years people would say I was a blissful, head-in-the-clouds at times person. The journal was filled with love letters, poems, and drawings all directed at Jesus. This was the me. The me so wrapped up in God I–though living life–I had walked closely with Him.
So what happened to the book that left so many pages unwritten upon?
Looking at the dates on the entries I noticed that they trailed off at about the same time that my church went through a split; the people who remained were discouraged and at the time I put it upon myself to be one of the “strong ones”, the one who was there for everyone else, grappling with the pieces left over from an event that made no sense. The split also eventually led into a period in my life full of burnout. Burnout from serving as much as possible in the church, working a full-time job and going to school full time. I had let myself get weary.
I sat down next to the closet and allowed myself to weep. When did I go from being in this relationship with God where it was as if I had danced with Him daily to Him being second to the issues I felt I had to run around like crazy trying to fix?
My boyfriend walked into the room, asked what I was doing, then asked if he could look at the notebook. I handed it over and much to my surprise, he picked up a pen and started writing in it.
At first I was a bit irritated; why was he writing in MY book–MY journal to God?
He passed it back to me and I glanced down at what he wrote. This is what it said:
“10/02/2013 The day I start again:”
“You don’t have to leave those pages blank,” he said. “Pick it back up and start over.”
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This is the beauty of God. No matter how many times we stumble or how far we fall, God never ceases to pick us back up. His mercies never fail. Every day with God is like celebrating New Year’s Day. Every day we can decide that this is the day we start over. This is the day we change. This is the day we do better than the day before.
In what area of your life do you need a fresh start? Call on God. Your new beginning starts today.