Are you feeling overwhelmed this New Year? To say I felt overwhelmed was an understatement. I was looking at a list of 21 confirmed food allergies, most of which I had spent the past 6 years functioning off of because I thought they were the solution to living gluten and dairy free. I had to keep reminding myself these test results were answers, this was good news.
By Lauren Heaton
2 January 2020
God gently reminded me that I had made an enormous shift in diet previously and could learn to do so again.
Oh, but change is so hard. It’s scary and it’s overwhelming not knowing where to start. Perhaps you feel this way as we kick off the new year. You desire to make change, but are afraid to take action because change is uncomfortable. Maybe you know you need to make changes, but because you don’t have a “doctor’s order” like I do, you feel like you can continue to push the change off.
It is said that we as humans won’t change until the pain of not changing is greater than the pain of the change itself. Where are you on that spectrum? Are you sitting in pain, paralyzed out of fear of the change you need to make? Are you tired of the sins or habits you’ve made your comfort zone and are ready to take action? Or maybe you are in that awkward place called denial and you need a friend to call you out and provide accountability. Wherever you are, know that you have permission and the ability to take the first step to change.
The hardest next step is the first step. The first step is also the only next step you can take.
New Year’s resolutions get a bad rap because people jump on board the diet train or whatever only to get derailed.
If the change you need to make is one that will make you healthier, happier, holier even, then don’t be afraid to make a change. You have to both push yourself—because you can accomplish more than you think— and rely on God’s grace, because without Christ you can do nothing.
I think the best way to move forward is to recognize the difference between good guilt and shame so that when you do “slip up” you remember that the choice was wrong, but you yourself are not a mistake, as if making wrong choices is your identity or “who you are.” If the choice you’ve made is a part of a sinful habit then run to confession! God’s merciful love and grace is waiting for you there. Let’s face it, it’s easy to fall into bad habits. If that’s the case, invite God’s mercy, grace, and strength into the situation so you can get back up again. One serious mistake people make is thinking they can accomplish all their own healing, through only their own efforts, apart from God.
Be Patient With Yourself. Take Small Bites.
I’ll leave you with this: it’s only overwhelming when you try to take all the next steps at one time. When you try to comprehend and envision all the change that is going to come your way. There is a reason God teaches us to pray, “give us this day our daily bread.” It’s because we only need enough for right now. God will provide moving forward. Trust that God really will help you to act and live in goodness, since he is perfectly loving and good. Today is where you can start, tomorrow will take care of itself.
Lauren Heaton is a graduate of Colorado Mesa University with a BBA in marketing. She loves working with high schoolers and leads a high school youth group and bible study, in addition to singing at church. Lauren is a modest fashion enthusiast, pancake connoisseur, promoter of faith and fitness, and lover of all things family oriented.