Goodbye 2018. Hello 2019. A new year.

We as humans like the idea of new. Especially when it comes to living life. We may not always enjoy changes in our life, but the idea of new we do like.

Why?

Because new indicates that what happened yesterday is over and we are moving into what tomorrow has. Because new has a feeling of something fresh…or the ability to hit the reset button. Because new means the mistakes I have made, or the ways I have been wronged, don’t have to control me forever. Because, new brings with it the feeling of hope.

That’s why we make New Year’s Resolutions, and why we enjoy celebrating the end of one year and the beginning of a new one.

Last year I wrote a blog called Approaching the New Year (and life) with Intentionality, in which I talked about picking a word to be your focus for the year. A word that had meaning, gave purpose, and helped you to live with intention.

I actually had 2 words for this last year. Bold, and Change.

The other day I was journaling ways I have seen growth in my life with regards to those 2 words. It was great to look back over the past year to see how those words had an impact in my life. How I have learned and grown…as well as areas I may still need growth in these areas…over the past year.

Tomorrow, a new year begins. 2019. Which means it’s time for a new word.

My life is currently in the midst of many changes…some happening immediately, others that I can see coming down the road, but that are affected greatly by these immediate ones.

I’ve been on quite the adventurous journey the past few years. And this past month God has directed me to be prepared for a new journey to begin.

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And that is my word…actually my phrase…for 2019. New Journey.

A new journey does not mean everything from the past journey is null and void, or that I completely forget about my past. I will forever have ties to my past and memories from my past. My past isn’t being thrown out, because it will forever be a part of what makes me who I am.

A new journey means that the journey I’ve been on has come to a place where I must go right or left. The path is split. There’s a fork in the road. And I must decide which way I’m going to go.

The path I have been on is one I know well. It’s been hard at times, but it’s also what is comfortable because I already know it. It involves me being a Youth Pastor, which I was for 15 years. It involves me having dreams and aspirations about where I expected my life to be at this point, but which in recent years have changed. Maybe not by choice…many of the changes in my life the past few years have been forced upon me. Yet, the changes have still happened, and I must learn to be bold in accepting those changes, as well as be bold in approaching the changes to come.

The path I have been on, the journey I have been taking, is what has brought me to this point. So I don’t discount or forget the journey up till now, it is what has brought me to the place I am now. However, the time has come for my journey to take a new course and direction.

A new journey

It’s both exciting and scary. But I know it’s where I’ve come to at this point, and what I need to be prepared for as I approach what is next.

God has been with me on my journey up to this point. He has led me to make the changes I’ve needed to make in 2018. He has taught me much, and has brought me through even more. And I know he will continue to lead and guide me on my new journey.

I pray that where God leads me, according to his will and timing, I will choose to follow.

What about you? What direction are you heading? What word or phrase will you choose to focus on and be a guide in 2019? What have you learned thus far on your journey, where have you come from, and in what direction will you go in the coming year? Where might God be leading you next, and will you be willing to boldly follow?

A few weeks ago I preached my last sermon, about taking a step of faith…talking about being ready to take on a new journey. The link to that message is below (the message is only 17 minutes long). I pray it encourages anyone who listens to it to be willing to take steps of faith in their own lives.

Step of Faith