I’ve heard it said that what you’re doing on New Year’s Day is what you’ll be doing all year long. Boy, as I sit here gazing out at the rising sun and writing, do I ever hope that is true!! I feel like there is so much inside of me that I need to get out, so much I want to say—about the previous year, about life as I see it, about hope and purpose and family and friendship and Jesus (without whom, hope and purpose and family and friendship is either empty or a seemingly ongoing battle).
Anyway, I’m going to start my first post on this first morning of the first day of the New Year by talking about last year, which was ironically a year of many firsts for me:
My first full year of being a grandmother—he calls me Granny (my favorite choice).
My first time working with Charlene (which leads me to…).
My first overseas trip with my husband (the pictures are amazing and those blogs are still to come).
My first time being completely finished with Christmas prep (I mean packages wrapped and under the tree!!) almost a whole month ahead of time. WHAAAAT!!! – Who am I and WHAT have I done with Sheranna???
My first time looking around at the end of a season and deliberately deciding what I do and do not want to go with me into the next season of my life, and then working hard to remove all the baggage that I’m just not willing to carry anymore (this includes both physical objects, and “things” that just serve to steal my time, energy, focus, and joy).
And, the biggie…
My absolute, unapologetic, deep end of the pool dive into a renewed passion for my FIRST LOVE!!
That may sound strange to you coming from me, because I’ve been a Christian for many years and have worked in the ministry since I was a little girl. But, I’m not talking about my salvation or calling. I’m talking about my intimate relationship with the one Who first loved me.
“We love him, because he first loved us.”
1 John 4:19 (KJV)
The One Who knew me before He formed me, the One Who planted gifts inside of me at the very moment of my conception, the One Who wrote a whole book about me and numbered every day of my life and every hair that would ever grow on my head, the One Who gave His life for me before I ever even knew Who He was or my need for Him. I’ve been busy about His work, for sure—believe in it and desire to do all that I can to be useful to Him, but I’m discovering all over again that it’s my time with Him alone in our secret place that’s what really matters most to both Him and me.
Yes, He has called me to do good works; but, more than that, He has called me to Himself. His love for me cannot be matched. The way He sees me, what I see in His eyes when I turn and face Him, is so full of beauty and possibility it causes me to believe that every word He ever spoke was spoken only for me—and it was.
Individually we each matter that much to Him. To say He has no favorites is not true, we are each His favorite! For Him to love me with everything He is does not diminish His ability to love you with everything that He is, everything that He has. His is not a diminishable economy and my blessings do not cost you anything, nor do your blessings detract from His ability to pour good things out on me.
He celebrates each of us; and so, we should celebrate each other! This is the love in which I am currently immersing myself. I would rather drown in this love than be rescued to live even one day without it, for this is the love that brings life to the drowning soul.
So, work this coming year? Yes, I have A LOT of it to do. He has filled me with so much vision that I myself am curious to see what’s going to happen. But, I would rather not lift my head from the pillow than go through one more day without first speaking to, reading about, hearing the voice of my FIRST LOVE!
And, I just want to encourage you that, while the work is all fine and good, we must keep first things first—FIRST THINGS FIRST, PEOPLE!
“I know your works, your labor, your patience,
and that you cannot bear those who are evil.
And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not,
and have found them liars; and you have persevered
and have patience, and have labored
for My name’s sake and have not become weary.
Nevertheless I have this against you, that
you have left your first love.”
Revelation 2:2-4 (NKJV)
So, here’s to a new year full of new sunrises bringing God’s boundlessly good plan for our lives with the dawning of each new day. And, as I celebrate and lay the old year to rest in the bank of my memories, I am taking with me only what matters most and falling for my First Love all over again… as if for the very first time!
How about you, do you have any thoughts you’d like to share? If so, please leave a comment below and…
Let’s Grow Together!