by Hannah Kerr, Resonate Pullman member

2018 is here!

It is time to put away our holiday decorations, clean up after the festivities, and start making plans for this upcoming year.

I love lists. So when January comes around, I think it is so much fun to make a list. Usually I forget what I wrote, and around November, I remember and look back on it. But for the sake of transparency, here are some things I want to accomplish this year:

  • I want to cancel my gym membership & be honest with myself (I’m not gonna go)

  • Save some money.

  • Give more, buy less.

  • Invite people into my home.

  • Spend less time behind a screen.

  • Read more.

  • Be a better wife, mother, and friend.

  • Learn to give grace as lavishly as I have received it.

Hearing people voice goals and dreams they have for the year is so inspiring to me. I think there is something powerful in speaking those things over your year, but one thing that troubles me is when I see the desire or expectation of the reinvention of oneself. We have all seen and heard it before:

New year, new me.

It does sound tempting, doesn’t it? With each year that passes, we can become someone new, and leave our failures, mistakes, and sin in the past. We get to become someone new.

The thing is, I’ve tried that.

I was in a relationship with this great guy, but we had fallen into the temptation of sexual sin. Right before Christmas break, we broke up. I was devastated, but lucky for me, I had something to distract me over the holidays.

I was going to East Asia. I was gone for Christmas and New Years.  It was so much fun being a part of something so much bigger than myself. I decided I was going to leave my sin in the past. When I came back to America, I was a new woman. I was not going to fall into sexual sin again. I was going to walk into the new year with my head held high. My sin was gone. It was left in 2015, right?

In a whirlwind of events, just three weeks into the year, I had gotten back together with my boyfriend, and fell into sin, yet again.

I wondered how this could happen.. After all the soul searching I had done, all the confidence I had built up. I was a new woman, right? New year, new me.

Most of you know how that story ends. My sin cost me my youth. At just 20 years old, I became a mother and a wife. With that, my confidence was stripped from me, my dreams shifted, and my new year resolution became: survive.

But I made the mistake of forgetting I had already been made new IN CHRIST. The old me was gone, the new had come. And with that, I was to walk differently than I had before.

2 Corinthians 5:17 - “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; the new has come.”

Scripture teaches us how to change:

Mark 1:15 - “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

We all want change, but we don’t always know how to do that, and do it well. Here are two simple steps, to become a new person this year.

1. Repent: Repentance isn’t just saying “I messed up.” Repentance means: to feel or express sincere regret or remorse about one's wrongdoing or sin. A desire to change the way you have been living. It is important to do this with accountability to prevent becoming stagnant.

*If you are not sure where sin is in your life, this article is very helpful.*

2. Believe: The Gospel is the story of Jesus who came to earth. His life of 33 years had one purpose.. To be the sacrifice that satisfied the wrath of God that was destined for you and I. His death satisfied the payment that was necessary for us to be in relationship with God.. and He didn’t stop there. He defeated death, so we may live.

You see, when Jesus paid the price for us, he cleansed us in the eyes of our Creator. This means, when the Lord sees us, He is pleased.

What in your heart is causing you not to be pleased with what you see in the mirror? Do you truly believe you have been made new?

Years ago, I made the mistake of believing that I was a new person, because the calendar changed to a new year.

I was the same sinful person I had been in the year prior, and only through repenting of my sin, inviting Christian accountability into my life, and believing that I had been made new through Christ, did my heart change. After that, I truly was a new person.

Instead of striving to recreate who we are in our own eyes, and the eyes of the world, we need to sit back and allow the Lord to transform us the way he desires to.

  • Let us remember who we were before Christ, and celebrate the new creation he has made in us.

  • Let us seek for ways to shine His glory brighter than our accomplishments.

  • Let us humbly confess where we have failed, and let us walk in a new light.

  • Let 2018 be the year where you allow the Lord to change your heart.

Happy new year, family. May God bring you a joy you never knew was possible as you are made new.