New Things

This past semester often found me scribbling the same two words across the top of my class notes: “Almost there.”

“Almost there” felt like a promise, a little whisper of hope that the following days will be greater and better and brighter. I held on to this little phrase for safekeeping. I repeated it to myself on the bad days and in the moments I was begging God for a new season. I kept it in mind on the days when my heart was filled with crazy good anticipation for what was next, when the last paper was turned in, and I felt less weighed down by what life had on the table.

God kept bringing the concept of daily bread to mind, how each day is a gift straight from the hands of Him, yet I was living for the ones to come, for something that isn’t even guaranteed yet.

I’m tired of living from a place of almost there, when Jesus declares, “You are here.” 

In the good, in the bad, we are here. As the days grow increasingly longer and I’m preparing for another Indiana summer—what could be my last—in my hometown and with my family, I’m thinking about how different the coming seasons are going to be. I find myself realizing that this, this day, this moment, this breath, is what I have. 

See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you.
Isaiah 42:9

We are here, and though it may not be where we think we should be sometimes, God is declaring new things. Like this verse in Isaiah says, what has happened is done. Newness is here. It’s not in the future; it’s not in some distant “almost there” moment. You don’t have to arrive at a point of new things because God gives us a new thing every single time the sun rises, every time He grants us daily bread. He sings new things over us in the joy, in the hurt, and in the in-between. 

God gives the daily bread, but it’s my choice of what to do with it. This summer, I want to see the value of just being in this season. Here are a few ways to fully embrace this season:

1. Work hard. To hustle, volunteer, be a go-getter, but know that the tasks you’re completing at your job or internship aren’t just for you—they’re for the glory of God. I want to take my two internships this summer and embrace them with joy for the opportunities God has provided, to say “thank You” instead of “please, something else.”    

2. Rest well. To stop living from a place of burnout. Though it’s so important to work diligently at everything we set our hands to, there’s also immense value in taking time to rest. So on those off-days, read a book (or ten) this summer, go hiking, have a picnic, swim, walk your dog. Do something that makes your heart happy, that gives you the time you need to soak up the gift of today. 

3. Love your people well. I’ve always found that summer is one of the best times to meet people and make new connections, but it’s also one of the best times to rebuild and reconnect with those we already know. Start a bible study (Delight Summer Series, right?!). Have coffee with the other summer interns. Talk to someone you’ve never seen before at church. Plan a surprise date for your boyfriend. Go fishing with your grandpa. Visit a friend you haven’t seen in years. Hang out with your siblings.

This summer, I want to build community outside of what I’ve grown comfortable within, but I want to shower those I already know with affection and grace. I want to open my home to new faces, to familiar souls, and offer them all a spot at my table as we journey towards God together.

4. Find yourself at His feet. In my pursuit of “almost there,” I slipped away from spending the time I need with my Heavenly Father. This summer, I want to become a student of the Word of God, to start my day with Him, to seek to see each moment as a gift from Him. I desperately need time to meet with the One Who holds my heart so I can renew my mind and regain my focus.

In this season of growth and life and rest, I pray God gives us the courage to say, “This is my daily bread.” That He gives us the strength we need to take it and use it for His purpose. That we are able to see His heart and the new things He’s speaking over us. I pray you have a summer full of moments that will be locked in your memory bank forever. I pray you have eyes to see all the newness He is declaring. 

-Sydney Hornsby // @sydney_hornsby