Monday, January 23, 2012

New Year, New... You?

{by Rachel Coker}

Every time the year rolls to an end, I start to thinking. Call it making resolutions, or planning changes, but it usually involves resolving to be a better person. This is the year I am going to work out. Like every single day. Or stop procrastinating (I am just now realizing the irony of putting this off as a New Year’s Resolution). Or memorize an entire book of the Bible. I always set out with the absolute best of intentions. I tell myself that I can do this. With enough resolve and determination, I know that I will succeed!

Obviously this year started out the same way. Me pumping myself up to do this or that. Getting ready to make some permanent changes. To finally bite the bullet and work at it. But you know what happened? Nothing, that’s what. I’ve already messed up on all of my resolutions to be a better person. And it’s only three weeks into the New Year!

I was sitting on my bed yesterday and I just about had a breakdown. I had started this year out with so many hopes and expectations, none of which had come true. I wasn’t a better sister, or daughter, or a happier person. I was still the disgruntled, imperfect sixteen-year-old I’d been three weeks ago. No matter how hard I tried, I just failed over and over again. My attempts just weren’t good enough.

While I was wallowing in my own self-pity, I realized something very important: I am never going to make myself a better person. At first I wanted to smack myself in the forehead and let out a: “Duh!”, but then the truth of that statement sunk in. The reason why my attempts at self-improvement are always failing is because I am a sinful human being whose heart is bent toward the worse, not the better. No matter how much my head wants to be sweet and loving, my sin nature wants to be rebellious and dishonest.

It kind of hurt to admit that. To come to a point where I could really grasp that all my hopes for improvement were in vain, if I didn’t have the ability to make them come true. I had to get to a place where I stopped looking to myself for all the answers, and started looking to God.

Our sermon at church last Sunday was on Jeremiah 18. God is the potter, we are the clay. In Jeremiah 18:6, the Lord says to Israel, “Look, as clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand.” It’s the same for me. My life is in the hands of God. It doesn’t matter how much I try to squeeze myself and mold myself into a certain shape, I won’t be able to change until I cry out to God. Only then will He take me and shape me, making me into the woman He wants me to be. And it will probably hurt, as His fingers prod the clay and take away the defects, smoothing out all the lumps and mistakes. But the end result will be beautiful. So much more so than anything I could have done myself. Because it will be His will for me. God will form me according to His plans for my life in 2012.

So does that mean I’m done with the crazy fad dieting and exercising that comes along with trying to be a better person? Well, maybe not. But I do know this: I want 2012 to be the year that I start trusting in the Lord to make me a better person. I want it to be the year that I remember as the time in my life where God met me on my knees, and turned my life around. The year when my number one focus was Him, and Him alone. I know that changes don’t happen overnight, and that the Lord moves in mysterious ways, but my prayer is for Him to move in my life this year. And then, no matter what trials or triumphs might come along, I’ll honestly be able to say that 2012 was a successful year.


  1. Hey I love this! That is how I always feel like, a month after New Years! Thanks, Rachel C:

  2. I can definitely relate to this! I'm always disappointed in my lack of ability to "fix" myself...and then I remember that that's Someone else's job and I just have to be willing to let Him work.

  3. I thought the article was entertaining, l have one cat and can see why some ladies just give up and live quite contently with 50 odd cats. Happy day!