Time to wrap up Christmas and celebrate the arrival of a New Year. Does that thought bring up feelings of excitement for you, or do you feel like a load of dirty socks left too long in the laundry basket?
For many the New Year is just a continuation of December’s discouragement and stress.
I’ve had those kind of years. Too many of them, really. Probably because I’ve lived a lot more years than some of you.
Through it all I’ve learned a thing or two about a lack of sparkle.
Sparkle comes from reflected light
If you’re not drawing life from the Holy Spirit, there’s no sparkle. He’s the LIGHT. You’re the reflection.
Note to self: Walk in the light.
It’s OK to experience sorrow and pain. These emotions are a part of life. Without these experiences, you have no grid for joy.
Joy sparkles even in the midst of sorrow and pain, because it originates from the One who lives inside you. And He doesn’t vacate His place of residence just because you’re going through a hard time. That’s one of the main reasons He’s there—to sparkle when you can’t.
Look to the joy that IS set before you… out there… beyond the New Year
Yes, I know, it’s hard to focus on now, but do try. It’s what held Jesus together when His journey on earth got dry as dust (Hebrews 12:2).
One of the roughest seasons in my life was when my dad died, close friends unfriended me, and my husband was crabby-to-the-max-desperately-needing-a-sabbatical. All happened at the same time. Not fun.
- I survived because I kept telling myself that the pain would slowly go away over the following three years, and it did.
- I survived because I had a friend who held me accountable to love in the midst of my pain. And I did.
- I survived because I knew that if I hung on to Jesus for dear life, He’d carry me through. He did.
- I survived because I focused on a clear vision of Heaven knowing that what I was experiencing was temporary. It was.
You can sparkle!
Did you know that you are quieted by God’s love (Zephaniah 3:17)? That’s a weird way of saying that when you really begin to rest in the fact that God loves you, your inner pain and sorrow will settle down. That’s really needed, isn’t it? So marinate in these Scriptures for a while:
- You are passionately loved by God (Jeremiah 31:3; 1 John 3:1).
- Jesus accepts you and loves you and you are completely loved by Him (Psalm 139:17-18; Romans 8:1; Ephesians 1:3-6).
- You are more than a survivor… you are a conqueror (1 John 5:4; Romans 8:37).
Give yourself some grace. Let Jesus sparkle when you feel dull.
You’ll make it. I know you will.