I’m new here. New to this blog, new to the church I’m attending, and fairly new to motherhood.
To some, “new” means change and change is frightening. There’s just so much unknown in change, and that can be deeply unsettling. Being both an optimist and a bit of an idealist, I am choosing to approach all of this new with an open mind and, God help me, an open heart.
I am seeking an open heart because it seems that seasons of newness in our lives are pivot points, which give us the opportunity to both reflect on the past and hope for the future. As we pause to reflect and hope, we can do so meditatively, inviting the Lord into the process. Or, we can skip the process altogether, potentially failing to learn lessons from the past or walk into the future without a strong sense of purpose.
It reminds me of a significant pivot point recorded in Scripture: Moses’ parting admonition to the Israelites as they were poised to cross the Jordan River and enter the Promised Land for a second time (Deuteronomy). In the second iteration of the law, Moses starts by recounting the events surrounding Israel’s failed attempt at taking hold of the land to which the Lord was leading them. He reminds them of the rebellion that took place as they “did not trust in the LORD [their] God” (Deut. 1:32 NIV). He reminds them that this rebelliousness and lack of trust is the reason they have been wandering for over thirty-eight years. He reminds them that a life of faith, centered on the commands and decrees of God, is absolutely essential to their future: “Now, Israel, hear the decrees and laws I am about to teach you. Follow them so that you may live and may go in and take possession of the land the LORD, the God of your ancestors is giving you” (Deut. 4:1).
For Israel there was past failure, but also a second chance to take hold of God’s gracious provision. There was also a clear imperative tied to their future hope: wholeheartedly love and obey God and teach generations to come to do the same (Deut. 6). For me, this point of reflection has revealed some past failure as well. I have been quick to judge things I didn’t really understand, clung far too tightly to achievement as a source of identity, and cared too much about what other people think of me. Like the Israelites, I have hope of taking hold of God’s provision—his spiritual provision in sanctification—and have the same clear imperative.
Like I said, I’m new here. The call to flat out devotion to the Lord is not. Even though I don’t know what’s to come in each of these areas of newness, I do know that my purpose in any context is to wholeheartedly love and obey God and teach the next generation to do the same.