This one is for the Jane Austen fans out there, you may recall Mr. Darcy saying in Pride and Prejudice, “My good opinion, once lost, is lost forever.” This arrogant statement is laced with finality. *Spoiler Alert* Mr. Darcy does change his mind in the end about a certain young lady (Lizzy Bennett) and actually marries her! They get a new beginning.
One of my favorite things about God is His willingness to give us new beginnings. What a hopeless world it would be without forgiveness, particularly God’s forgiveness! Recently, I found myself feeling heartsick as I looked at my 3 year old daughter as she sobbed. I had gotten upset with her and made a judgment error in my parenting. She felt I had been harsh with her and I was cut to the heart. I apologized, she forgave, and I knew we would begin again. Young children, like God, are relentlessly forgiving. But I didn’t want to forgive myself. I didn’t want to let myself have a new beginning.
Maybe this is why I am particularly addicted to “firsts.” The first day of the month. The first day of the year. They represent a new start to me. It’s a time when I feel I can give myself permission to let go, move on, and start over. This is silly of course and more symbolic than anything. With God, when I repent and confess my sins, I will always be made clean. My God is not a God of guilt. I love Psalm 103:11-12:
“For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.”
God gives us the ultimate chance at a new beginning . God isn’t saving our sins up to use them as a weapon later. He removes them completely. They are no longer held against us. I think it’s human nature to wallow in guilt and self-pity. As if by punishing ourselves, we can make up for our own wrongs.
Remember: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”~ 2 Corinthians 5:17
Jesus already paid the ultimate price, and He commands us to leave the shackles of the past behind. We get a new beginning. We are new creations. Let’s embrace that.
Readers, What do you need to leave behind so you can step into your new beginning?
Sarah Clews is a wife, mother of two little girls, writer and prolific reader. You can find more of her writing at Just Little Things.