A New Start

There are two types of people in this world.

Those who hate going back to school.

And those who love it. I loved it.

I seriously miss getting ready to start school in the fall…the activity of soccer season, seeing friends on a daily basis, football games, new teachers, getting the scoop on the new kids (especially those new guys!), cooler temperatures…oh yeah, and back to school shopping. It was like I was a recharged iPhone in the morning, 100% after a full night of charging.

I swore this year wouldn’t be like the last. I would take what I learned and finally make it through a year without betrayal from friends or heart break. I would focus on my true friends and be liked by everyone because of my positivity and kindness.  I wouldn’t procrastinate on my schoolwork. I would keep my binders organized and handwriting neat from the beginning. I would be the perfect example of academics, athletics and popularity. This confidence lasted, oh, about a week.

But why do we always want to start new? What is so wrong with who we are? We all make mistakes and have regrets. When you get older and start your career, you don’t get a restart when you mess up- you have to show up to the same job day after day and face the music. You may get a week of vacation on occasion, but that is hardly enough time to re-invent yourself or hope the boss forgets about how you embarrassed him at the company meeting. When you get married, you can’t just avoid your husband for days at a time unless you want him to file a missing persons report. You can’t take a vacation from being a mom. Proverbs 28:1 says, “The wicked flee though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.” When you want to run away from your past or your mistakes, you are running away from nothing. No one is chasing you; you are your own worst enemy. You need to be bold and face the world around you because that what God wants you to do.

The problem with always thinking of the new school year, or new year’s resolutions for that matter, is that it excuses your behavior you are doing at the present. You beat yourself up about everything you are and wish that you are everything you are not, instead of finding what is good about your life at this exact moment.  You focus so much on the future that you don’t see what God is doing right now. Life is not a movie where the main character suddenly leaves her nerdy life behind to become the prom queen.  Don’t get me wrong…you have the power within yourself to change, but make that change intentional and purposed. If you don’t like choices you have made, by all means, do something about it. Better yourself without hurting anyone else. Remember…you can’t control what other people do, but you can control what you do. So, like the Bible says…”Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6) Accept who you are, change what you can and trust God in the year ahead. God doesn’t waste time and He doesn’t make mistakes…and He did neither when He created YOU.

The ONLY way to truly make a new start is to start your life trusting in Jesus: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17) New life is found in Jesus and through your faith, you WILL learn to accept who you are, to be bold in your faith and to face your problems head on, with wisdom and grace. THAT is the new start you should be striving for!!!

As someone who has long said goodbye to her school days and looks at them (mostly) with fond memories, I don’t want you to start this year with new clothes or a new circle of friends or a new physique or haircut.  I want you to start this year with a prayer…a prayer that this year is the best year of your life; that you treasure every moment; that you don’t let the little things bog you down; that you find friends who love you for you;  that you spend time with your parents and brothers and sisters (because they last long after graduation and will be some of your most important relationships throughout your life); and finally, that you let God guide your steps, finding renewal in the Bible and confidence in His love for you. I am excited for you. And blessed to be along with you for the ride.

#journaljourney: Write down five things you want to be different about this school year. They can be little details like “I want to make varsity basketball” or big picture things like “I want to be more patient with my mom.” Write them big. Underline them. Write about what you need to do to make them happen and post it somewhere where you can look at it often- on your bathroom mirror or even as a note in your phone. Keep track of what you are doing to achieve these things and how your progress is going. Successful adults keep track of their goals, so why not have this be one of the first things you learn this year?

Scripture: Philippians 3:11-14, Philippians 4:13

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