Social media is replete with pithy memes, happy thoughts, and well wishes to begin the new year. And I believe that these ideas are posted with good intentions, however, they do little if anything to transform us. True encouragement happens in the soul.

As we look back at the previous year we see highlighted moments of deep sorrow and intense joy. In this mixture we call life, our quest is to find the nuggets of wisdom, and the lessons learned as a result of our experiences. Otherwise, we are more or less just “bumping into walls,” and finding a “bruised life” with nothing else to show for our effort.

Even when the highlighted events are not apparent to us, it is vital to remind ourselves that we have value. Fearful or anxious feelings let us know it is time to remind ourselves that we are loved. According to I John 4:18a, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment….” Let us not begin this day (or year) with punishing thoughts and attitudes. When I remind myself that God loves me just the way I am, with faults and all, then the anxious thoughts, feelings, disappointment, and condemnation leave.

 “There is no fear in love, and I am loved by the One who is perfect love, God Himself.”

It is essential to repeat this over and over until the punishing feelings are replaced with His glorious indescribable peace. One of the joyous mysteries of peace is that we are once again able to focus, and regain our emotional equilibrium.

I pray you are ensconced in His amazing love,

Jacquie ♥