Do you know what I lay worrying about in the middle of the night? My stuff!
The “stuff” is the contents of our house we sold in the summer. Sofas—three to be exact—tables and chairs, beds and mattresses, everything from our kitchen cupboards, photographs, and years and years of mementos of three children’s lives from finger paintings in preschool to sports trophies and awards in high school.
Those items sit in storage somewhere in Massachusetts while I lay fretting in Manhattan—in a strange bed in a fully-furnished rental apartment.
My husband and I chatted about our stored possessions over poached pear and speck pizza with the owner of a small, hip pizzeria we discovered just around the corner from our rental.
He mentioned friends just like us. They had moved into a Manhattan condo. Now it was brimming with suburban furniture.
Then it hit me—the thing I had been missing as I traipsed around one empty apartment after another looking for the perfect one in which to put my own bed and all our other belongings. We had suburban furniture! Our 3-seater sofas, one and half love chair with ottoman, not even considering the table and chairs for 10, would never fit into the square foot area of a typical New York City living area.
Now, I realize I had been hanging on when I should have been letting go.
The same is true as we go into a new year. We hold onto the baggage of the last year and let it weigh us down.
We toss and turn over the mistakes we‘ve made over the last twelve months. We regret what we should have done but did not do.
We don’t let go easily.
We don’t treat the New Year as new.
God, however, does.
Scripture says God’s loving mercy is: new every morning. It means your heavenly Father’s compassion and forgiveness are available every day you climb out of bed.
January 1st is a new morning, as well as a new year.
The principle of God forgiving and forgetting is a reoccurring theme throughout the Bible.
Our sin is transformed from bright red to white as snow.
Our wrongdoing is put out of God’s mind as far as the east is from the west. It may seem only a few thousands miles to go east, so our mistakes always seem to be within view on the horizon. Yet, if you travel east, you will never reach it.
Then, God commanded the Israelites to practice the Jubilee year when every seven years all debts were absolved and slaves were freed.
You see what God is saying? I let go, so you can release your grip, too.
We did give away quite a lot of furniture before the movers came in. Now, I realize we should have freed ourselves of more.
As I wrote a while ago in The Art of Letting Go, God wasn’t keeping me stuck–it was me!
What do you need to let go of so you can really start a NEW year?
Before using this prayer, think about the things you need to let go of from the past year.
Lord, help me to see the New Year as a fresh start. I regret not_________________ this past year. I made the mistake of ________________ and I am sorry I did wrong. Yet, at the beginning of this New Year, I can begin over again because of your compassion and forgiveness. Thank you that your mercies begin afresh each morning and on this morning of a New Year I want to make a fresh start. Amen.
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Linking up with Suzie Eller at #liveFree, Susan Mead at #DanceWithJesus and Daun Klinge at #GraceandTruth
Love this raw and honest look at letting go! Thank you for the encouragement, Rachel! Visiting today from Suzie Eller’s #LiveFreeThursday
Thanks for visiting, Micah. Appreciate it.
I don’t even think I’m waiting until the New Year, I’ve been getting rid of some things. There are definitely ” Stuff ” I’d keep, but nothing is as valuable as your gifts or calling and He provides even better stuff. The right stuff. I hope your apartment is like those old Hollywood one, you can think about me in my one room as family fills up the house. God Bless and Merry Christmas.
Great point, Rebecca, start letting go now. Sorry to disappoint, the apartment is newish. God Bless you too and Merry Christmas to you.
Oh definitely Rachel! We need to let go of the baggage that we drag around with us – not only from year to year but from day to day.
And it’s so easy not to let go, isn’t it. We need daily practice.
Your post reminds me of my favorite chapter of the Bible, Philippians 3, particularly where Paul shares that he forgets what is behind him, choosing instead to focus on what’s ahead of him. We learn so much from the past, and looking back on God’s faithfulness inspires deeper trust in Him. But dwelling in the past bogs us down and distracts us from the present! Thanks so much for sharing with us at Grace & Truth!
Great points, Jennifer. The Bible teaches us so much about how to handle the past, present and future.
Two things I regret from the past year: not standing up for myself, and letting my fears stand in the way of progress. I’m letting that baggage go as I press forward into 2017. Your post is timely! Visiting from #livefreethursday.
You go, girl. And you have a heavenly Father and Savior leading the way.
Oh, my goodness! Trying to live today’s life with yesterday’s stuff! That’s such a great metaphor for why so many of us feel bogged down in our spiritual life. Thanks for putting that picture in my head. So much to ponder.
A reminder we all need every new morning. Thanks, Michele.