It’s been a year since God first stirred my heart about being a New Creation, the old passing away… 2022 was a year to let go, to shed, to cry more tears than I thought were possible.
January has a romantic way of wooing us into what could be. Without a rigid work schedule, time commitments and washing socks, the days become more simple, filled with friends and reflection. It’s in this first date phase of a new year that we become sure that indeed, this will be ‘the one.’
I don’t mind. January can romance me all it wants. Last January, an invitation to the new felt exhilarating and exciting. As the months unfolded, however, I discovered letting go is hard. It’s incredibly painful. What we think of when putting the past behind us is leaving the worst things. The failures, mishaps and experiences we imagine a thousand different ways willing the scenario to end differently. If he said this, or she did that, or if I responded in this way then perhaps…
Hindsight is that beautiful gift you receive just after you need it.
There is no different ending. It happened. All of it. And while we want to say good riddance to hurts we need to be willing to surrender what is prized to ensure our hands are empty, ready to receive the next thing God wants to place in our hands.
The hardest things to release were my most treasured moments. Elated memories of satisfaction, pride in accomplishments, perceived success, seasons and songs I’d helped steward. My fleshy heart did not want to return these precious jewels easily.
Before we can be rebuilt we have to be undone. Dismantled. Decommissioned. Soil needs to rest to become fertile again.
Absentminded meandering, wondering what’s next and at times wondering if what was was all in my mind.
When you let go of your past, the highs and lows, it can be tempting to compare your nothingness to others’ somethingness.
Comparison: ‘the thief of joy,’ as I teach my kids.
The antidote to insecurity and comparison is not building yourself up by measuring achievements. Two days ago, when emptiness and disappointment knocked on my door, I responded by listing in detail all the many things I’d done in my life that I was proud of. I wasn’t going to let comparison win.
But as my words became seen on the page, it was not encouragement that filled my soul but Paul’s words, God’s word, that turned my heart to Truth.
“Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus, my Lord. For His sake, I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ.” Philippians 3:8 NLT
“Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:12-14 NKJV
And it was here I was reminded of my word for 2023: Close and Closer Still. If my goal is not Jesus, to know Him, be close to Him, then I’ve missed the point of my Christianity.
Unless he has all of me, He has none of me. Surrender. Close and closer still.
I pray you make space to reflect on 2022 and the year that was. There were some good things in there. And when you reflect, be sure to pour it all out. Empty yourself of the old to make way for the new.
Carly is a writer living on the Gold Coast, Australia with her husband Joe and their two girls: Beni and Selah. She is a passionate follower of Jesus Christ, a lover of His Church, His people, His Word and life in general.
Faceless Worship is the first book in the series ‘A Pilgrimage to Worship.’ Across eight days of study, you’ll find word studies and accompanying links to scriptural references for further reading.
The Worship series is for all creatives and those who want a better understanding of biblical worship. Book one, Faceless Worship is a call to humility. It’s for the hungry, the desperate, and those desiring to cultivate a relationship with Jesus that is so close that it causes all else to fade into insignificance.
Day 1 of this guided devotional is free when clicking the image above.
Carly’s first book Daughter Wait is an invitation to consider a different approach to dating and relationships. If you have ever wondered: How do I have a Godly relationship? How do I know if he is the one? What are realistic boundaries in a Christian relationship? How do I move on from a broken heart? Then this book is for you.
Written in Carly’s unique conversational style, you’ll cry, laugh and cheer as you follow her story of love and loss. Daughter Wait is a timeless reminder that regardless of your past, God has the best for your future.