As a year ends it’s common to hear the phrase “out with the old, in with the new.” Even though I know God does not measure time in my life by the turning of a calendar page, it always feels to me as if a new day is dawning.
At the end of each year I reflect by reviewing my journals for the year. I then contemplate the year to come as I hear Him ask me, "What do you want me to do for you this year, Jewel?"
It does my heart good to remember all that God has said and done. This time I felt the tug to do something a little different. I heard the Spirit prompting me to go back to 2004 and read forward. So I did. Those who know me, know that's alot of reading as I am quite the journaler. My family often teases me in regards to my many journals.
By the time I got to the end of 2009 I knew what He was asking of me. I could not hold onto the data that filled the sheets of paper any longer. The words rang out clearly inside my head, "forget the former things, I'm doing something new."
I had journals from as far back as the 1990's full of data. It was time to lay them aside and remove all records of wrongs. God keeps no record of wrongs, He was asking me to let mine go too.
Filtered throughout the pages of each journal were accounts of offenses that had been done by me, and to me. It was time to give myself and those who had offended me a clean slate. I had at some level done that as I had forgiven the injustices long before. But dwelling between the covers of each book were well kept documentations that brought the memories back to life. They would continue to dwell there until they were destroyed. Christ beckoned me to let go.
In the wee hours of the morning of New Year’s Eve I knew it was time. I gathered several up and began the process of turning the sheets of pages into ashes as I began to burn each journal.
As the ashes filled the fireplace I knew it was symbolic of what He had repetitively told me through the pages I had just read. He was turning my ashes into beauty.
As the fire burned I pondered the year to come. I decided to look up the Jewish meaning of the number ten, as numbers carried meaning to the Hebrews. Ten means absolute completion.
Suddenly I could see something I'd missed for years. There planted in John, between two tens was my promise for the new year. “The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy, but I have come that they might have life and have it to the full," (John 10:10). The thief has tried to steal me away from my reality. Jesus has come to dwell inside me to make me absolutely complete. Just like my journals, He has burned my past into ashes. It is no more. His life in me realized will be my completion.
As I watched the pages of my life burn my heart cried out. "Beauty for ashes, dear Jesus." "Take the ashes and turn them into the beauty of your life in me realized completely.
The "it is finished" life of Christ dwells in me richly replacing the ashes of the past. His life is my beauty.
On this new day of this new year, my heart cries out. Oh that I might live my reality. I am absolutely complete.
©copyrighted: 2010, Julie L. Todd