As a child (and even still as an adult, let’s be honest), my parents would always use the phrase “1, 2, 3 START OVER” with my siblings and me. Whenever we wanted a fresh start after throwing a tantrum or doing something unkind or disobedient, we would yell “1, 2, 3 START OVER!!!!” and we would all reset the situation. We would then start the conversation over in a kinder tone, or redo the negative action. This little game has stuck with me, as I am constantly needing to start over and reset my day.
Lately, my testimony of God’s power to give us “new beginnings” has grown so much! With the combination of failing new year’s resolutions (haha still trying!) and having very slow mornings thanks to mothering a baby who is still not quite sleeping through the night, I have sometimes been a bit discouraged with how my days have started.
For a while this would cause me to fall into what my husband lovingly calls my “despair mode,” where I tend to almost write off the entire day as a frustrating or bad day. I would spend the rest of the day going through the motions as my kids destroyed the house and I sat on the floor and watched them do it.
While these days will probably still happen periodically in the future, I’ve thought a lot about the power of new beginnings and how it blesses my life.
In my last article, my friend Joy and I were talking about how grateful we are for a loving God who gives us new beginnings. God gives us new years, new days, and even new hours! If you have a bad morning, you can have a better afternoon. This is exactly why Jesus Christ died for us—to free us from guilt, sin, and mistakes. He gives us new beginnings through repentance so we can become the people God intended us to become.
So, if you’re feeling discouraged because you don’t quite have it all together or maybe some of your new year’s resolutions have been harder than you thought, good news! Jesus Christ died and rose again for you. He believes in you and wants to help you live your best life to the fullest.
There was a Japanese proverb on the wall of the gym at my junior high (yes I 100% still remember it) that read: “Fall seven times, stand up eight.” When I was my immature middle school self, it made no sense to me and I thought it might have been a typo or something. But as I’ve thought about it over the years, it has made a huge impact on my life. Because of my Savior, Jesus Christ, I will always stand up more times than I fall. If we are to forgive others “70 times 7,” (Matthew 18:21-22) I think we should apply that to forgiving ourselves too.
I’ve been working really hard to not give up on myself or on the goals I’m working toward, but more importantly I’ve been working hard to trust in Jesus Christ. Because of Him, I can get back up and keep trying, even after a slow morning or a slow year! He cares about our happiness, and I truly believe one of the greatest gifts He has given us is the gift to keep trying and improve our lives.
He is a God of new beginnings, which brings so much hope and sunshine to the soul. Remember this next time you need to yell, “1, 2, 3 START OVER!!!”