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10.05.17

Story from a Digital Disciple: New Year, or New Life?



NEW YEAR, OR NEW LIFE?

“Bye Felicia” I see my friends write on their posts about 2016. I thought about what 2016 had been to me, and what it had not in comparison to years before. But whilst the world is in a cycle of months, seasons, years and life events, I am whistling to my own tune which follows the melodies and time of a different composer. His name is the God of heaven, and He doesn’t stick to the world’s timeframes.

No, God actually caused me to cast aside old habits and recommit before 2015 was out last year. On the 13th of November, 2015 in the evening hours I watched horrified as my favourite haunts, my cherished routes and beloved corners of the city of Paris were filled not with the sound of accordions, bustling waiters and small zippy cars, but with the dreaded shrieks of humanity once again stifled in its creative process by hatred, malevolence and the fruits of our broken relationship with our Author.

The Paris attacks, hitting my heart hard, came to me personally as a shock. One which God knew I needed. Because it was not one more second before I began to reflect upon the life I had lived, the reality of the mess of this world, and the fact that I had grown up taught very specifically that the state of it as we see today is a precursor to much worse. There’s a plot twist, however. Salvation and grace.

You see, the Bible teaches us quite analytically and intellectually the timeline of events before the (yes, you guessed it) second coming. And it’s nothing like a Kirk Cameron film. What happened to me that night was like watching the film reel for my life followed by a loud silence.

And then a quiet, still voice.

“Hey, Ruth. What are you doing?”

I wasn’t going to answer with an “oh hey, God. Nothing much just sitting in a towel painting my toenails and lurking Facebook.”

No. I had to reel and collapse and ache in an agony of realisation that I had been forsaking the only being in this universe that would love me endlessly. And that He had so beautifully and gently cornered me and my heart in this moment – seeking me out though I was in no way seeking Him – that right now at this juncture of time I had to make not a New Years resolution, but a New Life resolution. But at that point, it felt like death.

Death to the Ruth I had established. The one I had fought long and hard to create, manifest and mould. The Ruth who was spunky, vivacious, wild, tenacious, frivolous, fearless. Or so I had thought.

I was mad at God. He chose this exact moment to walk back in and say “so what’s for dinner?” Why had He chosen now? When I had so much I had to let go of?

It was because I had so much I had to let go of that it became apparent that it was the opportune moment. The exact, perfect place in the linear strip of life I had been bouncing along. Like Job, I was to be found to be one of those willing to follow Him though I was stripped of everything I knew.

I ruminated, collapsed, shuddered in bed. I lay alone, though a week before I had been in the company of the one I loved. And a shift had occurred. Suddenly I had died. Ruth Ellen Hodge was transferring ownership of self to maker.

A week before in this very bed I was giving my body to my love, my partner, the next I was giving my all to my creator. Realising that the two could not coincide from this point on ached me to the very core. It was a radical decision for a radical God. I pleaded with God to make my story the exception to the rule. To leave me with the human heart I had been able to sleep alongside these past months. To visit him in the way God had visited me.

Well here I am over a year later. The throne of my heart is no longer occupied by my relationship with an albeit beautiful human that I cherished and still acknowledge as a wonderful child of God. Not to mention the other things I took pride in that I had to surrender. But here is my heart now. It is open to the King of Kings. My healer, my redeemer.

The miracles my life has seen this past year have blown me away and the challenges have been character building to say the least. But it reminds me that our resolutions, our hopes for a new year – they needn’t start or be mentioned on a drunken night after a fireworks display. Sometimes your life will change in the quiet of your room on a Friday night. Don’t be surprised if God speaks to you and says “hey…what are you doing?” When you learn of God’s timing and experience it – you’ll learn of the greatest love of all. Unfettered by human tradition and social restraints. Unsurpassed by our feeble attempts. And down right sobering.

I traded the immediate for eternity and received the eternal immediacy of God’s presence and it’s my prayer in this year to come, and in fact starting now if you would take a moment to ask God “whatever you’re doing, can I be a part of it?”, that you will experience this love, passion and being that the world is too scared to admit exists because we pale in comparison.

What will it be for you? A new year? Or new life? Pray on it.

All my love and hopes,

Ruth

Ruth blogs at http://strewthrewth.blogspot.com.au/.  This post was first published on her blog as New Year, or New Life.  Ruth says, “I am a young Christian woman in my mid 20’s getting back on track with my relationship with Jesus.  Join me on a journey from clown to kosher as I follow my Saviour from glory to glory.”