Unlike my sister Dani, I am not a ‘New Year, New Me’ kinda gal. I’m more of a ‘New Year… already?!’ kind of girl.
You see, the New Year always takes me by surprise because I never see it coming. Even now, I still think it’s November 2014. I realised by the age of about 14, that New Years Resolutions have a tendency to fall apart around the 15th January. Furthermore, I realised that New Years Day always felt a bit like birthdays –although it felt like everything should have changed by 12:01am, in reality, nothing changed except the time. I’ll admit, I went through a ‘New Year, Same Me’ phase where I completely opted out of resolutions and all the wishy-washy stuff, but as I grew older, I began to see the benefits of a New Year; a New Year will always represent a clean slate, a chance to start over and to do things differently.
I think even as a teen, my immature mind understood that while the ‘New Year, New Me’ slogan could work for some people, it would never work for me because I continued to battle with issues from the previous year during the early parts of every New Year. Those issues didn’t disappear because the clock had struck 12. No matter how many declarations I made on January 1st, the problems from the 31st December walked with me right into the New Year
(how many times will I write New Year this post?!)
I wanted to love 2015. I wanted to feel different and new on the 1st of the month. I wanted to fling open my windows and shout from the rooftops.
Okay. The above isn’t quite true.
I didn’t want that much from this year; I just wanted to attain the peace that had evaded me in the final months of 2014.
One of my Rules For 2015 was to read my Bible more regularly; every single blessed day, I hope to be wrapped up in some quality Jesus time. I really thank God for this rule because it is the sole reason I was able to arise from the slump I had been in since 2014. Here are some of the things I read that helped me to find my joy (no pun intended)again :
1) God sees
Thereafter, Hagar used another name to refer to the LORD, who had spoken to her. She said, “You are the God who sees me.” She also said, “Have I truly seen the One who sees me?”
I became obsessed with the idea of “seeing” a few years ago after watching Avatar. In order for my relationships to function and flourish, I need you to “see” me. My intentions won’t always match my outcomes, my words often come across as brash and my passion is often mistaken for aggression. It is important that those closest to me “see” my heart and that they “see” where I am because I am constantly tripping up and offending people. Imagine my delight when I opened my Bible last week and was reminded that I serve a God who “sees” me: a God who sees my heart, my anxieties, my hopes, my dreams, my flaws and my problems. This gave me hope. I wasn’t alone. God was watching over me, “seeing” me.
2) Lay down your requests
Listen to my voice in the morning, LORD. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.
After reading this verse, I realised that I had been treating God like my shrink. Every spare minute I had, I would reach out to Him and complain about my problems but not once did I say, “God I need you intervene.” I failed to tell God what I needed, I just kept telling Him what was happening. This verse challenged me – what did I actually want God to do? After I figured that out, I brought my request to Him.
3) Lift up your eyes
The Lord said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, “Lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward.
After you’ve prayed, it is important to look up. It is only when we lift our eyes that we will see what God has in store for us. Every time I have been knocked to the ground over the past three years, God would say “if you knew what I had in store for you.” Sounds crazy, right? I would be looking at the ground, broken, distressed, hurting and God would remind me to lift up my eyes because He knew that better days were ahead. Better is coming than what we have experienced but we must look up because it is only by looking up that we will realise that where we are is not the end.
I want you to know that you are not a victim. You have control over what you think and how you feel. And even if you happen to lose that control, don’t worry, God is bigger than what you see, how you feel and what you’re facing.
All my love,