Kimberly N. Alleyne
The Harvest Magazine, Publisher and Editor
Writing Challenge, Day 1: New Beginnings | Isaiah 43:18-19
Things I Left in 2015
Ha, ha! Wow…
It’s 1:23 a.m., January 1, 2016, as I begin this post. There is no way I can hold this until later today; I have to write this now. I have a wide smile on face right now. My Grandmother Sarah would say I am grinning like a Cheshire cat from Alice in Wonderland.
I’ve been home from New Year’s Eve church service less than 30 minutes. I heard a great sermon. I was on my knees at midnight to greet the new year. I started jotting thoughts for this post during service. It’s all I can do not to go outside and do cartwheels up and down the street. I think this year is the first, as least in the last decade, that I didn’t boo hoo the year in. Normally, I’ve so emotionally exhausted and taxed at year end, that by the time I get to New Year’s Eve church service, I am a walking tear drop.
Normally I cry during praise and worship, I cry during the sermon (because ultimately a part of the message stings my soul and I feel convicted), and then I really cry while we are praying the new year in. It is common for ushers to walk around with tissue boxes because obviously I’m not the only one who expresses themselves through tears. However, I’m sure I lose 2-3 pounds in tears simply because I’m replaying the year’s events in my head: all of my failures, all of the the disappointments, all of the offenses and points of rejection, closed doors, missed opportunities, unanswered prayers, conflict, fears, failures, uncertainty, apprehension, regret…
Not sure why my tendency is –was– to replay the lowlights instead of the highlights.
And then of course I can’t let myself forget the host of insecurities that I wrestle with, and all of my dreams that I keep packed up in my all-weather emotional suitcase.
Not tonight, not this year.
Woohoo!! It. Was. Amazing. I didn’t shed one tear. And not that crying is a bad thing because it is not. God anticipates our tears. He feels them before we do, and He collects each one. Clearly, God gives us emotions and wants us to experience them. We just can’t dwell there, or allow any emotion to distract us from Him or His will and purpose for our lives.
As I dressed for church last night, I knew things would be different–in a major way. I didn’t pack any extra packs of pocket tissues as I usually do, but beyond that, I just had a feeling that I felt differently…that I was different, that something or some things had broken off the depths of my soul. Somehow, I had a sense that I was not going to church to beg God for a better, lighter, easier year as I had on each New Year’s for the last 10 years.
I just knew it; and my hunch was right.
I realize now that all of those times before I was grieving the past year because I was not ready to let of it. Thus all of the weeping. I wept over unfinished business, over not walking fully in my purpose, over visiting God rather than dwelling with Him. It was very inward focused, which is, though I hate to admit it, narcissistic. There is far too much Kingdom work to do to wrapped up in narcissism, the things of “me.” This is not the “me” show. It’s the Holy God/Kingdom show. So, I’m done with that type of weeping now. I’m thankful for those seasons; I was definitely never alone because God certainly mindful of the brokenhearted and those who mourn (Psalm 34:18). Even so, I’ve matured, and I’m walking in — and weeping in– a new level of revelation and perspective.
What is there to cry about now? I have so much to rejoice for. This is going to be a GREAT year. While I’m sure I’ll shed tears over the next 365 days, the only tears I will shed will be tears of gladness, thanksgiving, praise, saved souls, reconciled relationships, the weight and beauty of God’s presence…
I refuse to drop another tear over my shortcomings, or failures, or over a transgression that God forgave me for before I even committed it. No more. I am done. I refuse to walk in guilt, shame or condemnation any longer. There is no condemnation in Christ so why should I entertain it?
Enough. It’s past Kingdom time for a change.
I feel lighter (even ahead of my recommitment to healthy and regular exercise), but it’s not because I lost water weight in tears. It’s because, over the last few weeks, I experienced genuine breakthrough and deliverance from the bulky weight of emotional gunk. I am [finally] walking in the liberty that the Lord so generously granted me when I accepted Him into my 8-year-old heart. This is blissful!
So all that brings me to this, the things I left in 2015. Good riddance!
- Calculating my worth, confidence, disposition, countenance, plans or general outlook on someone else’s words, actions or their opinion of me.
- Keeping my dreams and gifts packed up out of fear or intimidation.
- Dulling my shine
- Reducing myself, making myself small to make someone else feel big.
- Doubting who I am, my purpose, my gifts or anointing.
- Underestimating the Resurrection Power that I carry as God’s child, or that I carry it at all.
- Not giving God — or myself — my best. I am worth being and giving my best spiritually, physically, emotionally, professionally, relationally, academically, and financially.
- Asking God if it is His Will for me to marry. I no longer care. Do I want to marry? Sure, I do. But I give up. I give up being fretful or anxious about it. God is my husband. If I marry, He will remain my husband. If I never marry, then He will be my El-Shaddai because He is more than enough in all things including being single.
- Derailments and distractions from my purpose, and my pursuit of God.
- Chasing, dwelling in or being consumed with anything other than God.
- Keeping people in my life who don’t want to be there, who don’t deserve to be there, or who don’t have my best interests in mind.
- Running from, kowtowing to, or tip-toeing around my enemies.
Whew! I feel good. By the way, it’s purely coincidence that I left 15 things (behaviors, mindsets, thoughts) in 2015. I hope you understand now why I am so excited, why I feel so light.
This really will be a new year!
I have been and, until I am directed elsewhere, will be meditating on Isaiah 43:18-19. A familiar and comforting passage. In light of the new levels of revelation and perspective I am walking–leaping–in, it has a new, profound meaning for me in this season. It’s amazing how many “new things” will spring forth when we are looking and listening closely—and when we’re ready. [tweetthis]When we dump our emotional dung, paths in the desert and streams in the wasteland, seemingly, appear.[/tweetthis]
What did you leave in 2015? Tell us at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Facebook, or Twitter. Or, if you’d rather tell us with a picture instead of a word, share with us on Instagram or Pinterest.
Happy New Year.
Happy New Life.