“And to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”- Ephesians 4:24
With this week marking the beginning of a new school year, I am recalling childhood memories and classroom experiences. There were teachers who made an indelible impact, friendships made that are still going strong today, and subjects that peaked my interests. My school experience growing up was a roller coaster of ups and downs, twists and turns, some great report cards and getting by the skin of my teeth. Of all that happened throughout my school years, one excruciating experience still rings louder than that annoying homeroom bell.
Due to a family situation, I had to switch high schools during my sophomore year. On my first day at the new school, we visited the admissions office to register. First period had already begun, so I was escorted to class by a staff member. I will never forget the long walk down the hallway, the door creaking open, and every student turning their heads to get a look at “the new guy”. I felt totally exposed and unnerved. If ever there was a time that someone needed the superpower of invisibility, that was it!
Like the start of a school year, the NEW has a tension of anticipation and apprehension. There are certainly great things ahead, but also a “get me out of here” mindset (trust me, I am still in denial that my daughter is now a middle schooler). The new God has for us can be hard to embrace due to the uncertainty but is absolutely necessary for our personal growth and His great purpose to be realized. Newness is part of God’s plan and is something we must position ourselves in. In 2 Corinthians 5:17 Paul writes, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
What are the new things God is asking you to enter into right now? It may be time to reestablish a daily devotion routine to connect with God in deeper ways; it may be time of developing new friendships to provide healthy support and to stop being isolated; it may be time to go back to school, learn a new skill, or start a new project; it may be time to get back to prioritizing your family; it may be time to reach out and restore a relationship; it may be time to pick yourself up from the last disappointment and find a new job. All these may seem super intimidating and impossibly difficult, but we have a God who gives us strength to start afresh and anew. Allow God’s truth in Philippians 4:13 to ring in the new for you, “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.”
Yes, I did make it through high school! And yes, you will make it in the new God has for you!