In global solidarity, the year that was 2022 now closes behind us. Unique struggles, victories, all of us. Most will follow us into the new year, like it or not.

Yet, for those who are brave enough to puncture the allusion of falsity and begin living into person God has made us to be, we can live through this coming year with grace and beauty. We live into the year not through striving, nor the commitments we make, but through believing the love that already exists over us, even in our brokenness and yearning.

This world, particularly in the hyper-individualized western culture, celebrates being perfect, strong, certain, undaunted. Yet, I’m learning, experiencing a different kind of value, before my Creator. He sees through the shadows, beyond the ideas of myself, the false ways. He sees me, truly, yet somehow still loves me!

We are not loved for our action, or lack of action. We are not loved because we modify our behavior, or can’t muster the strength to keep resolutions. This new year, and our responses within it, have no bearing on our value, our worth. We have each been made into the image of God, and though broken this world is, and we within it, we are each given gift of our true identity. I’m learning to rest into it, liberated by a perfect love that beckons me to release all other fountains of affirmation.

If Christ is to be our guide, then we must allow him to bring us to our own place of surrender. In this place, we lift up the old version, the fleshly, fallen vision of ourselves onto a cross of it’s own. There, with Christ, we surrender the old, and embrace the new, which is made in His image, the person we truly are before Him in love. I once believed the old was the new, the manufactured the original, but no more.

I walk into 2023 as an uncertain, unsure, weak, and humbled husband, father, man. I don’t know what is next, and I believe God has a lot of forming remaining to do in my life, out of love. I’m being made, and re-made into that person, by His Spirit, through surrender and faith. What an upside down kingdom this is!