It’s New Years’ Day, again. This time, I’m on the other side of the world, sitting in a huge chunk of metal, flying over a landscape of frozen lakes and snow-covered houses. It’s a yearly ritual, this New Years’ stuff. No surprise there. This year, though, it’s different somehow. For one, the lakes aren’t usually visible at this time of year – they’re normally covered by layers of snow by now. But it goes deeper than that.
The years gone by since I first came here are filled with moments I am not proud of. More than that – moments I am ashamed of and deeply regret. Things I never thought I’d even come close to doing have been done repeatedly, each time with a heart more hardened than before. While I initially thought I would never want to leave this place once I got here, I have dreaded returning every single time. It just felt like there was too much I couldn’t escape here. Coming back here was like a prison sentence.
But since then, I have experienced grace. Mercy. And that changes everything.
So this time as I return, I return strengthened and empowered by the knowledge that who I was does not determine who I am, nor who I will be. There is hope yet. I am not locked into a life chosen by the mistakes I made. Change is still an option. I am not lost forever.
This new year, I hold to this promise of grace. For without that, I would be fighting a losing battle. Instead, I get to daily share in the victory of the risen Christ, whose power and blood enables me to conquer the sin within me and live, set apart as His child. His grace gives me the opportunity of a new beginning.