Faith, God, Spiritual Life

New That Lasts

January 14, 2015


New doesn’t intimidate me.
Or scare me or cause me to question.

I love New Year.
I love clean lines and fresh beginnings.
Blank calendar pages holding promises of opportunity.
Empty “to do” lists meaning anything can happen
and I’m not bound to commitments.

But what happens when I “add new event” on iCal-
Or, as I inevitably will, break a new year’s resolution?
What happens when old habits win out against new attempts?
When the new doesn’t feel very new anymore….

I went on an amazing adventure in 2013.
An eleven month, eleven country mission trip.
New was easy to find.
New was easy to dream with
and set goals with…
and try to do better with…

Then, I came home to the very opposite of new. I came home to the town I went to high school in, I moved into a bedroom with furniture from my childhood. I drive the same way to work every day.

I started the new year with every intention of greatness,
every hope of being different and the energy to fulfill every new resolution…

It’s been two weeks-
and new has been replaced with normal. Radical with rhythm.
And the promises of a new season and all the potential for new habits are forgotten.

Because the feeling of newness doesn’t last.
Did you catch that?
the feeling of new doesn’t last.

In Second Corinthians Saint Paul writes,

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old things have passed
away. Behold, all things have become new. – 2 Corinthinans 5:17

If I have a single greatest struggle in my relationship with Christ it is this.
I don’t always feel like a new creation.
I don’t always, in my flesh, act in accordance with my belief that The Cross was enough.
I would rather earn my newness.

Like a child in a proverbial bathtub
I constantly scrub and question and scrub and question
and jump in the mud just to watch the stains swirl around the drain
scrub and question.
and repeat.
Am I shiny and new enough yet?

Paul isn’t writing about personalities, or lists, or hair colors or even our habits.
Yes, there is continual sanctification going on-
and Yes! we desire to look more Christlike each day.

Spiritual disciplines are good and right.
But disciplines and doctrine are not what make us new creations.

Sweet girls, Paul writes of the eternal things.
The things that are unseen.
Our souls and our spirits-
the very things that were paid for once on the cross.
Our most true selves.
We have become new because we are in Christ.
The kind of new that lasts.

Let us not pursue the feeling of newness this year.
Let us not become distracted by imitations of new.

But rather, let this new year-
with all of it’s excitement and potential and symbolic newness-
remind us of the full restoration of all things to come and the sure fulfillment of God’s promises for his daughters. Promises not bound by our understandings of new, or our feelings, or our timeframes or lists. As the calendar fills up, and the rhythm sets in, and the excitement fades may we rest in this truth…

Your newness is full, complete, lacking in nothing, because of Christ.

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  • Elina January 14, 2015 at 11:22 am

    Thanks Steph for the encouragement!:-)

    • steph January 19, 2015 at 2:50 am

      of course… thank you for joining us here!

  • Carmen January 14, 2015 at 5:47 pm

    Hello! As a new reader to agirlikeme I am amazed and so at awww how real you ladies are :) you guys do not hold back and actually speak the truth. It’s refreshing and reminds me that we are all human. Thanks so much ladies, your blogs have helped me in so many ways and I look forward to reading so so much more

    • steph January 19, 2015 at 2:49 am

      thank you so much for joining our community!
      I hope you are encouraged and challenged and reminded of how incredibly loved you are!

  • A Worn Girl January 14, 2015 at 5:51 pm

    Thank you for this! This is so good. :)

    • steph January 19, 2015 at 2:50 am

      thank YOU!
      it’s a truth I have to relearn often…

  • Meggy January 15, 2015 at 11:44 am

    I love what you’ve said ! This is exactly what I needed to hear right now – that new isn’t a feeling but it’s a continuous transformation of our souls that Jesus carries out :)

    • steph January 19, 2015 at 2:48 am

      amen. it’s good but it’s so hard to learn isn’t it?

  • Jenny January 16, 2015 at 11:51 am

    it’s so good to hear from you. I’ve missed you !!!!

    • steph January 19, 2015 at 2:51 am

      thank you! it’s really great to be writing again… and to have AGLM community to share what’s on my heart- I couldn’t ask for more

  • KL January 21, 2015 at 1:12 am

    When I was reading this I really understood it thank you :)

    • steph January 25, 2015 at 8:00 pm

      KL- It’s one of the greatest joys to be able to connect with other girls through AGLM. We’re all at different seasons in our lives, but maybe you’ve been where I am now and maybe someone else will be getting here soon. I hope for the ability to share and receive well with others so our journeys to glory can be a little less lonely.

  • Larah Helayne February 18, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    The greatest thing about this blog is that is shows people they’re not alone. This is exactly how I feel most days. My biggest struggle is trying to earn my Salvation. Thanks for the post Steph!

  • Larah Helayne February 18, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    The greatest thing about this blog is that is shows people they’re not alone. This is exactly how I feel most days. My biggest struggle is trying to earn my Salvation. Thanks for the post Steph!