New Year, New Me

photo by Kris Atomic

photo by Kris Atomic

Sometimes I feel as though my life is a Jenga game to CS Lewis’ Screwtape, the enemy – he is learning how to push just the right block to make everything fall to pieces. When things begin to shake, he delights in this. But God never lets me fall.

At times, my past does a wonderful job at haunting and confusing me. Doubt creeps into my life and creates dissonance between what I know to be true and what I believe in my heart. Before Jesus, I looked to others to love and fulfill me in a way that only the Lord can. I was often disappointed and left confused as to why no matter how many friends I had, no matter how many boys I dated, I never felt loved.

My actions were entirely driven by my need for love, and it was not until I encountered Jesus that I felt fulfilled by love. The more I was taught about God’s character, the less my actions were driven by that need for love.

But then doubt comes in. I ask myself how a loving, perfect Father could care so deeply for a sinful daughter like me. How can someone who knows me so intimately still love me?

Screwtape is tapping that Jenga block, and I begin to shake.

Screwtape uses my past to hinder me from moving forward. I forget that Christ’s love covers over the sins of my past and my future. I forget that the sacrifice made on the cross paid the price for our sins. I forget grace. Once again, I am driven by that need for love.

But through community, through the Word, and through prayer, I am reminded. When I was unaware, He called me beautiful. Now that I am aware, He continues to call me beautiful. I am His, I am loved. I remember that He left His throne for a manger to save us. And then it hits me with a heart-tugging, gut-wrenching, tear-inducing kind of feeling. All the sudden, I am there. I am humbled. He calms my aching heart, and He comes close to remind me that my cup overflows with His love. He tells His daughter that He knitted her together, and He looks upon her with love. He holds all the pieces together, and He intends to use them for great things.

Led by Paul’s example in Ephesians, I am pulled to my knees in prayer. When doubt starts to form, I pray that the Spirit works within my heart to move that knowledge of love to belief of love.

When there is a dissonance between the head and heart, pray to experience the power of the Spirit. Whether you know of God’s grace but you feel you have to earn salvation, or you know that He will protect you but you operate out of fear, pray to experience the power of the Spirit and let what you know about God grip your heart.

And when my past cripples me, I remember that I am a new creation. When your past cripples you, remember He made you new.

I am not a new creation because the year has changed. We are not made new simply because time moves on. When we live in Christ, we become a new creation simply by having faith in Him. So let 2016 be a reminder of a new creation, His love, and His grace.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
2 Corinthians 5:17

-Bri Emerzian // @bricheese19

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