New Year, New You: Living Free Every Day

New Year Fireworks

It’s a new year. It’s a new start. This is when everyone sighs in relief at the blank page in front of them. Then we will all make commitments to do better, to change this, to quit that, because it is January 1st: a blank slate.

There are many different milestones we have in our lives, certain events or times that are considered a “fresh start” or a “new chapter” in life. There is something about the concept of starting over fresh that we gravitate towards. We want to feel new, and we want relief from the weight of our past. As I think about how we are so drawn to the idea of a new beginning, I am reminded of Matthew West’s song, Day One.

“Well, I wish I had a short term memory
Wish the only thing my eyes could see
Was the future burning bright right in front of me
But I can’t stop looking back

Yeah, I wish I was a perfect picture of
Somebody who’s never not good enough
I try to measure up but I mess it up
And I wish I wasn’t like that

I wish I wasn’t wishing anymore
Wish I could remember that nobody’s keeping score
I’m tired of throwing pennies in a well
I gotta do something
Here goes nothin’

It’s day one of the rest of my life
It’s day one of the best of my life
I’m marching on to the beat of a brand new drum
Yeah, here I come
The future has begun
Day one”

You see, it isn’t just the milestone moments in life that are going to provide us with second chances. In fact, any given age or event in and of itself really doesn’t have much power. Wherever we move, whatever job we get, we are still us. We are us, with our pasts, our scars, and our fears, wondering what the future will look like once we get there, and sometimes how we will ever even make it there. But as this song continues it says that, by God’s grace towards us, we have this fresh start, this “Day One”. It is by Jesus’ blood shed for our forgiveness on the cross that He has provided an unshakable and eternal hope for our lives in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:17-19 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.”

While a day all by itself doesn’t have the power to change our lives, Jesus’ payment for our salvation – His great love – does have that power! Through Him every wrong we ever do is forgiven and washed completely away before God. His great and perfect love for us, even while we are still sinners (Romans 5:8), has the power to free us from the past, to heal our scars, to remove our fear – whether fear from things already done or of what might happen later. Each new day can remind us that, if we accept God’s gift of salvation to us through Jesus and walk in His grace, we do have a fresh start, right now. There doesn’t have to be any more looking back or not being good enough. Lamentations 3:22 tells us that every single morning God’s mercy for us is new. His grace and love never runs out.

Every day is Day One in Jesus, not just the milestone days and new years! It is my prayer that as you continue on through this year you will understand and embrace every moment as Day One and choose to live in that freedom found only in Christ. We can never fully understand His love for us, it is too great to comprehend entirely, but it is amazing to explore and dive deeper into! Don’t let your past define you, and don’t try to climb a ladder of making yourself a “good enough” person.  Let God’s hand guide your heart and your steps, seek Him above everything else in life, and live every moment in His victory that He offers you.

Here is to the next 365 Day Ones!

~Amanda

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