Friday, January 9, 2009
In the first few weeks of the new year it seems everyone is talking or thinking about new beginnings. Is the new year really that big of a deal when God gives us a new beginning with every sunrise? His mercies are new every morning!
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23)
This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalm 118:24)
I know, you're probably thinking it's not the same thing. Well, I guess it depends on the situation. To me, it sounds like some new years resolutions seem to stem from regret. "I'm going to exercise everyday from now on!," could mean... "My weight gain really makes me regret eating so much." Or how about, "I'm not going to work so many hours this year," could translate into... " I regret missing so many precious moments." While these new revelations are great, and a desire to change behavior for the better is fantastic, there's usually a "but." Over time these resolutions seem to lose their importance. Change is hard. Change is work. Change can be uncomfortable. Even if this change is for the better, even if it will improve our lives or the lives of those we love, sometimes it seems easier to stay where we are. If we're not careful, the enemy can convince us we really don't need our resolutions in the first place. "You're not really overweight and I'm sure your heart is fine," and, "Who needs to fit into their clothes? Eat that cookie and just go shopping!" Or how about this one: "That's what video cameras are for. Have someone record John's game for you. He'll understand you had a meeting."
When I left my marriage, the enemy came at me with new weapons; guilt and regret. Some days he still tries to attack me. For example, my son is at the age when he really needs his dad. After a difficult day I can hear Satan planting seeds of guilt in my mind: "Because you were afraid, because you thought you were being emotionally abused, your son doesn't have a dad to talk to right now. How do you feel about your decision now?" If I didn't have God in my life I would cower and cry. I would allow doubt to take over and let the devil's lies make me feel like a terrible mother. Instead, I have God in my corner. He is a father to the fatherless (Psalm 68:5). My Heavenly Father reminds me again I took myself and my children out of a harmful situation and I should not be ashamed. "Yeah! Take that Satan!"
So I am here to tell you no matter why you are a single mom, do not be ashamed. Do not let regret keep you in the same place. Ask God for peace to move on. If you are a widow, don't let grief keep you in the same place; don't keep it all inside. Take the new beginning God has given you and glorify Him with it. He is with you. Even if this was not your plan and you are struggling, remember God is with you. Work with your children on building your new life. Make new traditions. Form new routines. Laugh more. Hug more. If you have been meaning to but just have not gotten around to it yet, do it now. It's a new day. Make today your new beginning. And tomorrow... and the next day...and the next day...
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