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.