A Broken-In New Year

I'm a big fan of new journals--the crisp white pages (lined, obviously!), the perfect binding, the unfrayed edges, the way none of the corners have been torn off to scribble down a phone number or dispose of chewed gum. But then I start to use it. And I cross out the third word I write. And I rip out page 6 because I wrote down something that doesn't deserve to be preserved in ink. And I toss it in my purse and the corner gets mashed and then water spills on the back cover. 

And new was wonderful. But now it's seen life. It's lived in, and I can settle comfortably into those pages.

Those pages hold what has been. They hold joy and excitement and surprise. They hold some dreams that didn't happen, plans I made that will never be. They hold hopes I still have. They hold confessions smudged by tears. They hold pleading prayers in giant writing as though God might be near-sighted (He's not). They hold rambling thoughts and hurt feelings and a little bit of sarcasm. 

They hold whatever my days have held. 

And they remind me that I've been held. 

Because you will never read those words. But Someone has. And He has been faithful.

And none of that is there on the pages of a crisp new journal. Which is what got me started on this stream of thought in the first place.

New years are a lot like a new journal. Blank slate. New goals. New dreams. New plans. New start. And couldn't we all use it?

I almost always start a new journal to mark the passing time.

But this year (all 7 days of it) hasn't felt that way to me. 

This year, I've landed in the same worn journal, and I've found some comfort in the soft, worn pages. I've found relief in the continuity. 

I've found reassurance in the still is rather than in the could be

And I think that's okay.

What about you? Is this new year a clean slate? A year when mercies are so tangibly new every morning? Or has one year melded into the next with the swift turn of a worn page whose corner is already missing?

Maybe we can just let it be however it is. No pressure here to start fresh, just an invitation to walk with Him in whatever the year has brought. He's the same as He was. He doesn't need a new journal or a new plan or a new goal in order to show up. He was there on all those worn pages, and He'll be there on all the blank ones. 

I don't know what those pages will hold. But I know the One who holds me, who holds you. And suddenly a new year doesn't feel so daunting. It can just be. I can just be. Because HE IS. 

Happy 2016!