New Mercies For New Years & New Days

New Mercy (1)

I almost always get in a really weird, not particularly good mood on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. It’s like regrets from the year coming to a rapid close and fears about the future are combined with a bunch of sentimental crap, making a poisonous concoction. It’s isn’t exactly deadly, but it certainly is sickening.

I also get annoyed by all the fanfare. Maybe I’m just a New Year’s Scrooge, but I can’t help it. People are celebrating all things new when really the only thing new is the year listed on the calendar. And so what? The numbering of years is just an earthy construct used to organize the passing of time. It’s useful, but not exactly earth-shattering. People make ambitious resolutions (and I have too), knowing full well that they will probably fail within the first month. These resolutions are usually good things – like eating healthy, reading the Bible daily, or exercising more – but rarely does one actually succeed in a resolution without falling at least a little. People shout “new year, new me!” as if they didn’t say the same exact cliché last year, only to be stuck in their same old ways by February.

As Christians, we can celebrate true newness every single day – not just one day a year. And this newness isn’t like the newness that the world parades with. The newness that the world offers is really just a mask on the same old deadness inside. The newness that God offers reaches to the deepest darkest places in our souls. It brings what is dead back to life and replaces cold, hard hearts.

As this year comes to a close, I’ve been thinking a lot about one particular passage of scripture: Lamentations 3:22-24. Read it once, and read it again.

“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 3:22-24, ESV)

Did you catch that? His mercies are new every morning. Not just the day you first believed. Not just the moment you first trusted Jesus. Every morning. Every single day. His faithfulness doesn’t end. For every morning we wake, His mercies for us are new.

Of course, it doesn’t always feel that way. More often than not, our hearts and minds are flooded with worries, doubts, pain, and the weight of yesterday as soon as the alarm sounds and our eyes open. Mornings are filled with dread and not celebration. In these groggy moments, it is so easy to lose sight of truth. Just like our eyes struggle to adjust to the bright light of day after hours of darkness, our minds struggle to focus on the Light of Christ after hours of sleep. These early morning moments can easily define the rest of our day – at least, they tend to do so for me. Most mornings I struggle to get up – fighting anxiety about the past and the future, doubts, guilt, and just sheer exhaustion.

Whatever I’m feeling though, that doesn’t make truth any less true. The truth is that God is faithful and His mercies are continually new. I don’t have to carry the weight of yesterday’s shame, failures, and struggles, nor do I have to carry the worries of tomorrow. For the past few weeks, my nightly prayer as been “God, help me remember your mercies when I wake.” God is faithful. He has reminded me of them. It makes me almost teary eyed to think of it. Mornings still feel like a struggle. I have to wrestle with the thoughts that flood to my mind. It’s a battle and I don’t always win. Still – God is faithful. His mercies are continually renewed. They were new today, on the last day of 2018. They will be new tomorrow, as 2019 dawns. They will always be new. And thanks be to God.

Happy New Year

2012 has been quite the year. I’m not spending New Year’s Eve as I had hoped, but I am thankful for the year that has been. In fact, I think 2012 has been one of my favorite years yet. Normally I get upset on New Year’s Eve for no real justifiable reason. Right now I’m doing ok…we’ll see how I am by midnight.

If everything had gone as planned, I’d be at a little music club in a small city 45 minutes from here with one of my best friends. Instead, I am at home, sick. I’ve been sick since the Sunday before Christmas. A week ago today I was thinking “At least I will get to have fun on New Year’s…” Yeah. As I reflect on the year however, I am thankful for what I have been able to experience all year round and that is what has helped me get through Christmas and now New Year’s Eve even though I am sick and under a new round of prescription drugs. I suppose that hearing about the highlights of my year isn’t overly interesting to anyone else but I felt inclined to post anyway.

2012 started out great. I spent the final hours of 2011 and the first few hours of 2012 at one of my best friend’s house. It was the first time I did anything other than sit in front of the TV or computer on New Year’s Eve. We had a blast chatting, watching Doctor Who, and hooking up the computer (YouTube) to the big screen. That was the first time I can remember really being really happy on New Year’s.

At some point in January, I received acceptance letters to colleges. That lifted a huge weight off my chest. If any high schoolers read this, I highly suggest getting those applications in before Christmas of your senior year.

The next big highlight came in March when my other best friend and I finally held a joint birthday party. We’d talked about one for years but it had never happened. We figured this was our last chance for quite some time because we were all going to different colleges. She’s two hours and five minutes older than me and is as close to a sister that I will probably ever have. We had catered Italian food, had a sleepover, and went to the movies. Only a few people could make it to the party but we had fun nonetheless. Less than a week later we went to concert in that same music club I mentioned before. We saw a Celtic rock band and it was quite amazing. We actually went and saw them again in July when they were at a Scottish festival nearby. (By the way, neither my friend nor I are Scottish…we just really liked their music…)

In May came all the senior activities at school including senior fun day (basically a school day that we drive to this activity place with lots of free food, games, activities, and a pool and hang out), and prom. I didn’t have a date to prom but I went with several of my friends. That oh so awkward moment in college when your new friends ask about your romantic relationships in high school…they were quite…non existent.

Anyways, in June came graduation and the all night party that the school sponsored afterwards. I got sick there too…but my unrelated twin (friend with the same b-day) made my night by volunteering for something at the party that she has sworn me to secrecy about. It wasn’t anything bad but it was a little embarrassing for her I think. She really is a great friend and I am so thankful to know her.

Over the summer I finally got my driver’s license…and I got it just 2 weeks before my permit expired. I needed the license so that I could drive to college. I also participated in an ensemble at the local music shop and had an absolute blast…even though 3 of the 5 band members were in middle school. XD

My first semester of college went fairly smoothly. And I most certainly thank God for that. I had so many concerns and worries when it came to college. I still don’t know 100% what major I want but I think I am rather comfortable with Communications. My mom has said she doesn’t see me as that major because of my shyness and awkwardness but I had a professor who told me it was a good fit. And I enjoyed my communications class more than many of my fellow comm. majors. XD I guess God works in mysterious ways. J

When I first got this illness, my first thought was “at least I got to go to the TSO concert.” For that I am extremely thankful. It was the first ‘big’ concert I went to and it was just….amazing. (BTW, for anyone who doesn’t know, TSO stands for Trans-Siberian Orchestra). My unrelated twin’s parents gave her tickets to the show in Connecticut. She invited me to go along. Her dad accompanied us and treated us to dinner as well. It was an unforgettable night. We had really good seats too. My ears were buzzing for hours afterwards but it was so worth it. I’m still raving about the concert…if you can’t tell. XD

So as you can see, I’ve had a great year. I am really sad to see 2012 go. I may be sick now but I am thankful for the year that has been. These are only some of the highlights. There are plenty of other moments that I won’t bore you to death about. If you made it this far in my post, you deserve a cookie. Or three.

I wish you and all those you love a happy and healthy 2013!