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What’s Old is New Again

I have always loved the freshness of this time of year. Opening a brand new appointment calendar. Flipping through the stuck together pages of days-to-come thrills me. It’s a clean slate open for endless dreaming, new ideas, and things that have not yet been.

However, this new year brings circumstances that I wish could have been thrown out with last year’s trash. I wake up in this first month of 2017 and my mother is still battling Alzheimer’s and well, it’s complicated and difficult to know what this never been traveled before terrain should look like, much less feel like. Am I doing this right, God? I often hear myself asking. She’s alone now; a single mom who independently ran her life and remarried at 57 losing her second husband five short years later.

Layer this family situation with my one sibling, a brother who is a year older than me (53) and struggling with mental health issues. It’s been a 15 year struggle. He’s managed to lose everything, wrecking every relationship in his life, which when speaking about ours, is a difficult and complicated loss. This is the one single piece of reality that still stuns me enough to feel like it’s not yet real. But wait I’m awake. It’s real.

So I sit with the anticipation of fresh newness all around me and circumstances that don’t reconcile with anything remotely close to fresh and new.

I have a confession to make, though and it’s completely counterintuitive. You would expect me to say that I’m one hot mess. I can’t stop worrying, feeling sorry for myself (fill in the blank of ways that would seem natural to react). It’s the opposite though. I actually caught myself smiling to myself earlier today. This is the mystery of Christ. His nearness. His peace changes things, it changes everything. Not around me, but inside me where it matters most.

He’s got this. No really, HE’S GOT THIS! He’s the God of our victories and the God of our disappointments. Especially our disappointments.

“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

OK breathe. And say it again. Now close your eyes. And surrender.

Whatever you may be facing today … don’t fret it. God is here. Those three little words are life altering. He is here. With us. Emmanuel. It’s his first and most important promise. Think about how precious this Jesus – front-and-center with every breath – really is.

Shift the prayer from, “God please make everything in my life workable,” to “God I trust you and love you in the midst of my chaos.”

And then wait on the Lord who will ring in this New Year bigger and brighter than anything you have seen before. Because with surrender comes peace and with faith comes joy. And with love comes a worldwide of new possibilities.

Happy 2017!