As you step into a new year, let these beautiful words from our very own team member, Jessica Walker, breath hope into your mind, body & soul.
The world steps out of the Christmas season bursting with a glistening, giddy hope that springs from the depths of her toes up and into the creases that spread across her face when she smiles, eyes merry and bright. Her weary soul rejoices and sighs while contentment settles comfortably into her heartbeat and she sits back around a table of plenty. She finds grace and joy a little bit easier in the light of a humble manger birth. Her once brittle bones, bones that ached with thirst, are replenished by an ocean of precious hope caught by longing, calloused fingers.
Yet often, that glimmering contentment fades in the week between Christmas and the new year. The world feels night’s dark shadow creep back over her mind at the thought of a new year full of uncertainty and changing traditions. She clings to the old year with clenched fists. Lofty expectations and unrealistic goals create crippling dissatisfaction deep within her soul and this dissatisfaction wages war with the contentment she found underneath the glowing tree. The gleaming opportunity to obtain the ever-fleeing standard of perfection is irresistible. She obsesses over the changes she needs to make in the new year to meet that standard. She plots to exercise more, to eat better and to collect herself, to be the woman she so desperately craves to be. The new year presents her with a looming opportunity to clean up the mess of her life. She forgets that Jesus holds wide His arms to her mess, to her broken perfection, her stumbling steps. The Father whispers “do not be afraid” to breathe life into her dry and cracked bones full of hesitancy and doubt, to bolster her out onto hard roads and to the new year that His wise and strong hands have crafted for her.
The new year will be hard, yes, but it will be met with just as much grace as last year. The new year will be full of change but as she collides with it, she will be reminded that she is His daughter, His favored one, created in the image of the One who created change. She will remember that change is a part of life. She will remember that life happens in seasons. The new year will test her, but she has a Savior who walks out onto stormy waters, waters that rage and froth. The hope that was shot into the heart of the earth when a small wail erupted from Bethlehem is the same hope that carries her on broad cross-carrying shoulders against overwhelming waves and ever swiftly into the new year.
And so, in this new year, let the awakening that happened in humanity Christmas morning, as silence was pierced and God sent an answer to His beloved ones, light a fire deep in your bones. Rejoice in the promises He came and fulfilled. Rejoice because your broken hearts will be mended by the One who was sent to bind the broken hearted. Rejoice because He will set you free. Rejoice because He comforts those who mourn. Rejoice because He snatches away your faint spirit. And dance. Tilt your face to the sky and feel the sun. Paint bravery like war paint on your cheeks and a battle cry in your throat as you step out onto the wild road of a new year. Be adventurous. Laugh in the face of fear. Feel the breath of God blow against your back and let it push you into the new year because you are a carrier of sweet, fierce hope and eternal joy.