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Walking Our Faith: You don’t need resolutions

Suzanne Elizabeth Anderson
Walking Our Faith
Suzanne Elizabeth Anderson

On New Year’s Eve, I joined a dozen people around a bonfire, which has been a tradition in this Breckenridge neighborhood for 30 years.  

We enjoyed a glass or two of wine as the flames leapt toward the stars, and when it grew too cold, we headed inside, where naturally we gathered in the kitchen, which is truly the heart of Beth’s home.  

Beth’s family has hosted this neighborhood tradition for decades and reminisced about neighbors’ children who are now adults and have children of their own — three generations of family sharing another New Year’s together.

I’ve celebrated New Year’s Eve in venues around the world, but this year was the best. It’s how a celebration of the passage of time should feel, acknowledging the past year and welcoming the new as we gather together with old friends and introduce ourselves to new. I’m grateful I was invited.

On Jan. 1, I followed another tradition. I broke the seal on my 2020 Moleskin journal and spent the morning as I have on the first day of previous years, taking stock of where I am, where I have been and where I want to be.

I write a list of goals and compare them with last year‘s results. Happily, in 2019, I made good progress, so I write up a new list and consider how I can improve my eternal battle with my weight, my ambition to become a better writer and my dream of a cabin in the Blue River woods.

As my list of goals increases to cover every aspect of my life, it occurs to me that I possibly do not have enough hours in the day to accomplish all the hoops I’ve asked myself to jump through. And if I did, would I be that much better?

Yes, I believe goals are great. The downside of goalsetting, however, is when it comes from a place of insecurity, a sense that we must do all these things to improve ourselves because we are not enough as we are. If only I lost another 15 pounds and covered the gray in my hair and became a better conversationalist, perhaps then I would be found worthy of love.

So, I asked myself what does God think of my goals?

And the answer is, of course, that God loves me, loves you, just as we are. God sees through our self-perceived imperfections and loves us because we are perfect in his eyes. No matter what we have done, God still loves us. He asks that we embrace his love to see that we are enough, just as we are. We don’t have to earn God’s love or anyone else’s.  

Here’s what God says about you and me:

“For I know the thoughts I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God,” Romans 8:28 

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10 

“Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 

“I ask that he will strengthen you in your inner selves from the riches of his glory through the Spirit. I ask that Christ will live in your hearts through faith. As a result of having strong roots in love, I ask that you’ll have the power to grasp love’s width and length, height and depth, together with all believers.  I ask that you’ll know the love of Christ that is beyond knowledge so that you will be filled entirely with the fullness of God. Glory to God, who is able to do far beyond all that we could ask or imagine by his power at work within us.” (Ephesians 3:16-20)

I hope you’ll reread these verses during the coming year, commit them to memory, and recall them whenever you have doubts about yourself or about God‘s love for you.  And I hope you will know that you can make good choices about your life and know that you are loved dearly just as you are, every day of the year.

Suzanne Elizabeth Anderson’s column “Walking our Faith” publishes Saturdays in the Summit Daily News. Anderson is the author of 10 novels and nonfiction books on faith. She has lived in Breckenridge since 2016. Contact her at suzanne@suzanneelizabeths.com.


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