New Year, New Me??

I recently posted this on Instagram to welcome in 2021:

1/3/2021

Wise words from my pastor at church this morning:

“success” in life is faithfulness to Him, faithfulness to each other, and faithfulness to His mission.

2021… a new year. what are we feeling? are we weeping or rejoicing (Ezra 3:11-13)? I invite you to welcome both. It’s okay to feel.

And what are we expecting? A disappearance of Covid? Going back to what life was before Covid? Y’all… God is DONE with the past… He is working in the here and NOW. We should be too.

“How can we sing the Lord’s song on foreign ground?”
Psalm 137:4

We asked this question in 2020. It was a year of challenge. A year of a foreign time. But a year of blessings. A year God called us to open our eyes. To put Him first. A year He broke down idols.

So… this year… 2021… what success, what new year resolutions, are we chasing??

“success” in life is faithfulness to Him, faithfulness to each other, and faithfulness to His mission.

Walk in prayer, make disciples, bless the world, the good news has come for ALL people. so be faithful to Him.

“Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
John 13:34-35

The love we see and feel and experience on this earth is just a WHISPER of the love of God. Love big this year. Love big.

“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
matthew 28:18-20

Catch that. HE is with US. To the end of the age.

So… what “success” are we going to chase this year?? Faithfulness. Go intentionally. Be intentional. Live for eternity. And make Heaven crowded.

That post was all over the place. The intention to say that this new year is in the hands of God was there. It just was not very put together (whoops!!).

The title of this post mentions a new me due to the new year. Ha! Just a reality check… there is no such thing as New Year, New Me. We can set goals for the year. We can have a drive to get something accomplished. But changing who you are?? Not necessary. REMINDER: YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL AND ENOUGH JUST THE WAY YOU ARE!! Sure, we can have things we need to work on. Nobody is perfect. I am simply saying that you are worthy of love without having to start life over at the start of a new year!!

This time of year is FULL of ads and radio commercials and stupid reminders that it is a great time to start to lose weight or eat ¨cleaner¨ or workout harder. And if you are like me, trying to recover from an eating disorder (or disordered eating- wherever you are at in your journey), hearing and seeing all these things is SO SO HARD. Here is another reality check… your body does not need to change. You do not have to eat ¨healthier¨ or exercise more. Diet culture NONSENSE (the nice way to put it) gets so loud this time of year. You were put on this earth for far more than trying to change your body. So… know that the only cleanse you need this New Year is a cleanse from toxic diet culture.

No more New Year, New Me… It may be a New Year, but I am the same Ella. A perfectly worthy person who has been put on this world to do far more than focus on changing my body. And it may be a New Year, but we still have the SAME GOD!!! A God who never changes. A God who is infinitely greater than our minds could ever imagine.

Personal life update: Like that last Instagram post, I AM NOT VERY PUT TOGETHER EITHER!! Ever. I am far from perfect. But today, January 10, 2021, I am also far from mentally okay. I know recovery is up and down. I know recovery is not linear. But when my mental health goes from great to not so great, it is frustrating. VERY frustrating. And it is even more frustrating when you can NOT seem to figure out what triggered the downward spiral. What if I relapse? What if that relapse puts me back in treatment? What if being in treatment does not allow me to graduate HS or go to college with all my friends? To say I am scared is an understatement.

So here is another reminder… it is okay to struggle. You do not have to be put together all the time. It is okay not to be okay. It is okay to feel what you need to feel. Do not let anyone tell you differently.

I wrote this prayer today:

Lord,

I need You to rescue me from where I am right now. Last night I did not want to fight anymore. My sweet mom had to sleep with me to help keep me safe. I could not be alone. I am scared. I feel numb. Angry. Sad. Confused. Hurt. Lord, right now I look like the picture perfect girl. Sitting in a coffee shop while it is gently snowing, Bible open, coffee in hand. But my mind is blank. Actually… far from blank. Voices are screaming. I cannot read my Bible. There is a wall between me and Your Word. The Christian music flooding through my headphones and into my ears is going nowhere but to space that I cannot reach. My heart feels heavy and empty. I need Your help but am not sure how to ask for it. I want to climb under the blankets on my bed and slip into a world far from this one. I am far from okay. But I have dreams and goals, Lord. Dreams and goals that feel just at my fingertips but oh so far away at the same time. I am never going to reach them. Not like this. Why does it feel like You are anything but by my side, Lord. Why do I just want to close my eyes and never have to open them again? Lord, I need Your help. Please rescue me from this pit. Put me on solid ground with You. Help me to hold onto Your truth. Lord, I am begging You for Your strength.

Amen

I do not share this personal update with you to seek pity. I need prayer warriors. I need a team behind me that will fight this spiritual battle with me. I know that the Lord is sovereign. I know that the battle has already been won. I know Satan has been defeated. But something inside of me is convincing me that the evil in this world, the suffering in my heart, is stronger than who the Lord is. I am not seeking attention or pity. I am asking you to get on your knees with me and pray for healing, strength, truth, and light. Not only for me but for everyone out there who is struggling to grasp the truth of who God is and who we are in Him. For our country. For you.

I can do this. I am not confident in that phrase in this moment but I know the Lord is. Because He has conquered the evil of this world. And knowing that is enough.

XOXO, Ella P.

¨Do not fear, beloved. Peace! Take courage and be strong.¨ Daniel 10:19

¨The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.¨ Psalm 23:1

¨But the Lord stood with me and gave me strength.¨ 2 Timothy 4:17

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