I will spare you a list of my goals for the new year. It’s a very tiny list in my mind with only two things written on it.

To be honest with you, the things I really long for this year don’t seem to fit on that list.

I long to be more transparent with my friends, to depend on God more instinctively, to love Nathan more selflessness, and to listen more intentionally. Things that cannot be checked off a list.

The tendency of my heart is to create some new system of rules in which I can accomplish these things effortlessly. A few months ago, I made a new goal of waking up early every morning and stuck to it diligently until December came and all the holiday plans and travels won over my exhausted self. In this experience of failing my own goal (and countless others), the voice of disappointment weighs over me. You’ll never be enough is its oft repeated lie.

In some ways, it’s true: I will never be enough. I will never have it all together.

And that’s okay.

Because I don’t need a new system of rules to rely on this year. I need a Savior.

This year, and every year, I need to acknowledge my weakness, my perpetual struggles, my inability to live up the my own expectations. The awareness of my inability to be the person I need to be is the place I need to be in. Any growth toward godliness can only be possible because of Jesus’ work on my behalf. My greatest work this year is to rest in Him. And the rest that God calls me to is to admit that I cannot fix my brokenness.

Jesus came for the weak, so I don’t have to pretend to be strong. This doesn’t mean I don’t create plans, or cut something unhelpful out of my life, or make a necessary change — it’s just that I don’t expect these efforts to remove any of my need for grace.

Accepting grace feels painful even as it frees me.

But I know that grace is the only thing that can overcome the lie that something besides Jesus can save me.

Kindness can’t save me. Waking up early can’t save me. Simplicity can’t save me.

I don’t need a new system to rely on this year. I need my Savior, Jesus.

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