As 2022 comes to a close, I look back in awe and am almost moved to tears at all the major life events that occurred this year. On February 26, I proposed to my then girlfriend of over two years. On March 24, I turned 22, and celebrated once again with friends and family after not being able to due to Covid. I went on to graduate from Louisiana State University on May 21 and started my full-time position at work shortly after. If that wasn’t adult enough, I purchased my first home on September 15 and have enjoyed navigating the endless bills, paperwork, and repairs needed. A month later on October 15, I got married, and before I knew it, the year was coming to an end. An eventful year indeed.
It’s astonishing to see how much has occurred in my life in the span of one year. It honestly scares me to imagine how differently my life would be right now if I hadn’t made the decisions that I made my freshman year. I would have constantly been trying to fill that void in my life with anything I possibly could, even if it only brought me relief for a singular night then left me in regret the next morning. The new year serves as a reminder of how I should treat my walk with Christ and how I should continue to seek to grow. It’s a new beginning, yes, but it does not mean you can’t ever begin anew after January 1, 2023.
By the time I started college, we were more than halfway through the year already. Had I waited until the new year to “get right with God,” I would have been buried by the burdens of that semester, and I could honestly say that I wouldn’t have made it. Then, everything I said very well might not have happened. That void I was trying to fill my whole life, I wouldn’t have been able to do it, even if I sat next to the ocean my entire life with a bucket. For everything I poured in, thoughts of inadequacy and shame ate it up. There’s no way I can make my family happy. There’s no way I could possibly measure up to those around me, and sitting by and waiting for the new year and a fresh start wasn’t going to help that.
The amazing thing about the Gospel is that it is not limited by anything. It doesn’t lose its power over time nor does it require you to wait until a specific date. If you are in December, and you begin feeling a conviction to go to church again, don’t wait until the new year to “start fresh again.” A Christian’s walk with Christ is a constant ongoing process of sanctification. Everyday is a new day to deepen one’s relationship with Christ. Everyday is an opportunity for unbelievers to trust in Christ for their salvation. Scripture says that, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9). There is no prerequisite that states that one must wait x amount of days or until a certain date to do so. We aren’t promised tomorrow.
My relationship with my grandfather wasn’t the greatest. In all honesty, I had nothing positive to say about that man. He was rude and abusive towards me and everyone I loved, so I made it a mission of mine to avoid as much interaction with him as I could. The day he passed, I cried, and I didn’t understand why I was wasting tears on a man I cared very little about. He never apologized, and to my knowledge, never had the intent to, so why was I sad? Do I wish that we somehow could have reconciled? Did I, in all my hate, actually love him in some way? I guess I’ll never find out. What I do know is that I wish I had the chance to share with him my testimony. I wish that I had the opportunity to share with him that while he was still a sinner, Jesus died for him. I wish that I had the opportunity to share with him that no matter how long it took for him to build up the courage to apologize, I would be willing to forgive him instantly because I know that I’m just as much a sinner as he was. Jesus, while I was still rebelling against him, paid the debt of my sins for me if only I repented of my sins and turned to him. I wish that I had the opportunity to give him that same chance to accept Jesus into his life before he passed away.
Life is short, but eternity is forever. Don’t waste a moment waiting for a new year to get your “new beginning.” Use today to mend that relationship. Use today to start going to church again. Use today to start cracking open your Bible. Use today to pursue God further because with Jesus, everyday can be your new beginning.