A Good Day for a Clean Slate

There will be no shortage of homages to the chaos that 2021 brought the world.

Variants of all kinds (Marvel characters and viruses alike) took over the news, and people cautiously re-entered the world with hopeful hearts and eager minds. But, unfortunately, people also clashed with one another over a thousand tiny things, and across the globe, we saw the destruction that a lack of democracy and diplomacy can create.

Many times in 2021, we forgot the humanity of our neighbors. We ignored their feelings, their hurts, their experiences, and their dreams at the expense of our agendas and opinions being given the penultimate status of “truth.”

Oh, friends.

I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t been a part of both camps, those dishing out their brutal opinions and those receiving the harsh winds of their words. But, as the year wore on, I realized that so much of what I had been accustomed to thinking was truth was just some fragmented collection of perspectives I’d heard from every corner of the internet. That, of course, is no way to determine the truth.

Throughout this year, I have constantly been reminded that the truth I once knew, one I wish I could share with everyone, is that God is not far from the brokenhearted and confused. I was brokenhearted and confused walking into 2021, burnt out on church, politics, and exhausted by weighty school courses. There was no room in my brain to live the acronym I created for 2021—WONDER (“I will form a new wellness outlook, I will nurture discipline, and I will establish rest.“)

Around the middle of the year, I began to find myself as a sounding board for friends experiencing all manner of difficulties in their lives. I was still struggling with truth and not being a cynic about life, so how was I supposed to help them? My slate was cluttered with forgotten prayers, untouched emotions, and discarded dreams smothered by fear.

Pray for them.

It is such a simple statement, but it washed over me like spring rain…

I know that not everyone believes in God. That makes my heart sad, but I don’t know all your stories surrounding religious people or experiences. What I do know is that I began to find myself pushed to consider the power of prayer for the remainder of the year. Even when I felt like I wasn’t doing it well enough or often enough, or when I felt guilty for not reading my Bible or going to church, I found myself comforted by the fact that I could immediately turn to the Lord and ask for help. Nothing except myself can stop me from that.

The things that have made my slate messy are wiped away every morning. They may have consequences that follow them, but the slate is fresh every morning. So I want to encourage you today to not bother waiting until 2022 to embrace the clean slate. You can do that TODAY. Every moment you think about it, you can embrace the difficulty and beauty of seeing the clean slate for what it’s worth—a new chance at life.

You are worth it, and I’m here telling you that we are in this together.

Honestly,

Jess

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