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  • Writer's pictureAnna

new year, new me (again)

Updated: Jan 9, 2018


A few days ago I was going through some of my old prayer journals and reading some of the (hilariously embarrassing) entries from years past. I couldn’t help but laugh as I read entry after entry that began with “God I’m sorry again, help me start over and do right this time- for real”, or something like that. Then I came to a few entries that I had written on December 31, New Years Eve. Each time I listed my goals and dreams for the New Year and said “this time next year I want to have achieved x, y, and z”. The funny thing was that year after year, while I had achieved some of them, many of those dreams and goals remained the same. Dozens of pages filled with un-achieved dreams and goals, unanswered prayers, and about a hundred prayers asking for forgiveness for failing, yet again.

How many of you can relate? Starting January 1st you will start your new diet, finally join the gym, start writing a book, read more, organize y


our home, travel more, the list goes on! Year after year you’ve said “This is my year” or New year, new me”. I say it literally every year. Yet come summer, you don’t have your summer bod, you’ve read a half of a book and you honestly don’t know how half the year is already behind you. So you keep trying, but six months later you’re sadly rewriting the same goals again. It can be extremely disheartening and disappointing when you wonder if you will ever finally “get there”, wherever there may be for you.

Let me tell you this, you are certainly not alone in this cycle. I’m right there with you and I have found it encouraging that Paul was too. I cling to Romans 7:15-20.

“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.”(NIV)

You are certainly not the only one who tries and fails and tries and fails again. Whether your goal is to wake up 30 minutes earlier or to overcome an addiction, you are not alone in your struggle. The truth is we are weak. We get lazy and it’s hard to fight our natural instincts. As Paul said, we are constantly battling between holiness and sin. BUT we have the solution and a promise of unconditional love in Christ Jesus. Romans 5:8 says that while we were still sinners (dead in our sin) Christ died for us.

I used to feel somewhat embarrassed in front of God when I told Him I had failed again and needed His help. I felt like He was disappointed in me and my confidence was shot. But that was before I really knew Him. Now I know he is not mad at me and He wants me to ask him for help. 1 Peter 5:6 says “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you.” He wants you to come to him for help when you keep failing because He cares for you.

So as you enter into 2017 with all your hopes dreams and goals, don’t forget two important truths.

  1. You are loved, even when you fail

Don’t ever stop believing that you are loved despite your many failures. When you feel discouraged think of Paul in his struggle. Think of David who even after many awful decisions remained a man after God’s own heart. Whether you achieve all of your goals or none of them, you are STILL worth Jesus’ life and you are still a recipient of His unconditional love.

2. You are weak, but you have access to Strength

On your own, you will fail. We all have this inclination towards sin and laziness, but when you accept Christ’s salvation, you have all you need to succeed. 2 Peter 1:3 says “as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue.” Sometimes we get so stuck in our failures that we forget the power we have living inside of us. You have the fruit of the Spirit, which includes self-control.

Dreaming and setting goals are not bad things. In fact they are God-given and they make us human! So set your goals, strive towards bettering yourself in whatever way you choose, seek holiness and godliness, knowing you will fail many times. But even if 2017 only takes you one step closer to who you are supposed to be, you have something to be proud of. And if it takes you 5 steps back, that’s okay too. Life is a journey of failures and successes and God is at work in your life, doing His own thing in His own way. Don’t focus on who you think you should be and set unrealistic standards for yourself. Just rest in who you are becoming and don’t limit yourself to one year when you have your whole life ahead of you.



2017 can be your starting point, but the finish line is years ahead.


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