• Paige Barker

Page 18: When You Need A Fresh Start

How have the first three months of the year already come and gone?! I felt like it was just New Year's Eve. I never believed my parents when they told me that time goes by faster as you get older. Yet, they were right... again. :)

I was talking with my mom this morning about something I’m facing, and I said, “It feels wrong to ask God for that. Why would He give me that after the mistakes I’ve made?” I quickly regretted what I said and felt guilty for thinking that way because I know God doesn't hold my mistakes against me. Rather, I‘M THE ONE who holds my mistakes against myself.

I hate making mistakes and feeling like I’ve disappointed someone. You can ask the people closest to me (my parents, my friends, my boss, etc.). I often make a mistake seem much more significant than it is. I overanalyze and overcomplicate things because I have this innate desire to please people and never to let someone down. But in reality, I will always let someone down because I'm human. Hello.

I thought about what I said to my mom and remembered that today is the start of a new month and a new week. It's the beginning of a new season even. And when something is new, it's easily moldable. We can make it into whatever we want; therefore, the past can remain just that - the past. That doesn't necessarily mean there won't be consequences for actions that have taken place. But it DOES mean that you can start new, start fresh with a clean slate. We can leave the old behind. I love what it says in Isaiah 43:18-19:

'"Forget the things that happened in the past. Do not keep on thinking about them. I am about to do something new. It is beginning to happen even now. Don't you see it coming? I am going to make a way for you to go through the desert. I will make streams of water in the dry and empty land.'"

God is the God of new beginnings, fresh starts, clean slates. After all the mistakes the Israelites made, God in His mercy told them to leave their past behind and to move forward in expectancy of the new thing He was about to do.

We also need to remember that Christ died for our sins and has given us a gift: the cross. The cross is a gift in and of itself. It's a gift that offers freedom and redemption; freedom from the bondage and shame that tries to keep us down, and redemption for those mistakes we've made. The gift of the cross is also a gift that keeps on giving. It's not a gift that you only open once and then it's gone. It's a gift we GET to receive every single day if we so choose.

2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us,

"'Now, if anyone is enfolded into Christ, he has become an entirely new person. All that is related to the old order has vanished. Behold, everything is fresh and new.'"

For those of us who call Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, every single morning we get to wake up is an opportunity to become an entirely new person and start fresh. Guess what that means? Whatever happened the day before is considered old news. Can I get an amen?! What a God we have. That He would give us that kind of gift through Jesus. It blows my mind.

So, what are the things you need to let go of today as we begin a new month? Is it fear? Insecurity? The desire to never look bad or disappoint people? Maybe you need to let go of the shame of your past. Perhaps you need to let go of the frustration of a current situation and rest in knowing that God has the blueprint and knows exactly how everything is going to work out. Maybe you need to let go of what someone did or said to you and forgive. And if I'm honest with myself, I need to let go of all of that.

As you let go of whatever it is you need to let go of, be confident in asking God for what you need. And don't be scared to go big when you're asking God for something... because we don't serve a small God. We serve a God so big that our wildest dreams and biggest requests are easy for Him.

Frankly, I'm writing all of this to myself because it's hard for me. But let's do it together as we head into spring!

P.S. If you're reading this and you're saying to yourself, "I don't call Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior," but you want to, please message me! I want to pray with you! Deciding to follow Jesus was the best decision I have ever made, and I want you to experience the kind of love I've been able to experience.