One of my favorite things is to look back and read through my old journals. Each time that I do so, I am encouraged, and often times I gain insight into this crazy journey I’ve been on. Admittedly, I am prone to “tunnel vision,” and I easily lose sight of the bigger picture of what God is doing in my life and in the world; and this practice helps me to take a step back and gain some valuable perspective. Today I want to share the words (raw and unedited) that I wrote in my journal one year ago today, as I was reflecting on the year that was drawing to a close. As we ring in the New Year, a season marked by well-intentioned but frail resolutions, I hope that it can be an encouragement to you, as it was to me.
I started 2014 with these words from the founder of To Write Love on Her Arms, in his post called Welcome to Midnight (read the whole blog post here).
“Is there something to this holiday? Something true inside it? Because isn’t there something inside us that aches for change… Dreams it to be possible… To let go, to hold on. To leave it behind. To start again. To be new. Is it possible?” (Jamie Tworkowski)
I finished 2014 with the knowledge that real change is possible, but that it doesn’t come from a new year, a fresh start, or a better effort… It comes from surrender; surrendering your life to the One who gave it to you.
I experienced real change in 2014; freedom from addiction, shame, self-hatred, and depression. I saw myself change from a pessimist to an optimist… from hopeless to hopeful… from being a slave to addiction to walking in the freedom of sobriety… and these changes came from giving up my self-reliance in exchange for a relationship with the Living God.
When I surrendered to God, I didn’t give up on my life, I gave up my right to control it… my right to see results from working harder. I surrendered the control and outcome of my life into the only truly capable hands.
I no longer do “New Years Resolutions,” save one… And this “New Years Resolution” is for life:
“I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.” (Philippians 3:12-14, MSG)