By Christine Wagoner

Stepping Back, Going Forward

A new year brings the sense of second chances and renewal. It rolls in with the determination that this coming year will be better.  We are, as well, very eager to say goodbye to the previous year’s pain. Out with the old, in with the new! Seems easy enough.

As I end this year, I have been encountering a situation in my life that has brought up some old insecurities and false beliefs about myself. I am particularly frustrated to recognize these “old voices” because I have spent so much time in past years healing from these beliefs and bringing truth to the center of my thinking.  I thought I would never have to deal with these insecurities again. Why is this coming back to haunt me?  The perfectionist side of me cries out questions like, “What didn’t I do right the first time?” and “Have I failed in some way?” Out with the old, in with the new, right? Why does the old keep coming back around?

As I step back, reflect with God, and ask him about these things, I get the sense that — yes, I have done some great truth-seeking in my life, and I have allowed the Holy Spirit to heal parts of my heart and speak into these insecurities. That is real. However, it seems there is room for deeper understanding of God and myself in these insecure places. God is continuing to give me an invitation to receive his grace and compassion (which I can easily dismiss — a topic for another article!). What I’m realizing is that when I focus on the old insecurities and get mad at myself for being in this place again, I can miss a tremendous blessing of more wholeness and life in Christ that God wants to grant me in this deeper layer of healing.

It’s a bit like taking a journey around a mountain path. If you keep hiking (or in my case, driving) around the mountain in a circular way until you reach the top, you will come to the same point of the mountain each time you circle, but you will be higher and the vantage point will be different each time. The view as one gets higher can be even more spectacular than at the base of the mountain.  Yes, I’ve already reached the old point in the mountain and done the work of seeking God and healing there, but let it go, and embrace the new point in the mountain with its extraordinary view, and the uniqueness of it all. There is more blessing God wants to give out, and I don’t want to miss it because I’m too busy believing old lies or mad that I’m seemingly in this same spot. Perhaps I need to embrace the situation in my life that has brought about this insecurity again, thank God for it, and ask him for truth and freedom in this new point on the mountain so I can fully enjoy the current view.

Recently on a flight back to Indianapolis, I sat next to a woman who used the phrase, “Don’t block my blessing!” She used it in reference to a man she was dating.  She felt he needed to leave her life in order for the blessing of “Mr. Right” to come her way.

While I could see her point, I wondered if it’s truer that many of us block our own blessings. We get stuck in old ways of thinking and feeling, don’t extend grace to ourselves, and we miss the opportunities God is trying to give us.  In the new year, I pray we can be women who “learn from the old, but embrace the new” and receive the many spiritual blessings God would have for us!


About the Author

Christine Wagoner is an associate regional director with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, where she directed their national women's leadership development program. She received her master of arts in counseling ministries from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Christine is married to Kurt and lives in Indianapolis, Indiana.

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