Sitting in the hard-back blue plastic chairs wearing a yellow cotton, button-downed shirt with a green pleated, polyester skirt uniform listening raptly to the chapel speaker at my A.C.E. Christian school, I made a decision.
I would read a Psalm a day every night before I went to bed.
I felt kind of exhilarated tinged with hints of guilt that in my 9 years of life, it had not occurred to me before that I needed to diligently read my Bible every day.
So with a determination true to every budding perfectionist, I began my daily quest to fulfill my commitment. I loved school and lists and checking things off, so that first week, when I completed a chapter each day, I felt very successful, proud, complete.
And then, of course, life happened.
One day I got behind, and I just thought, "I will catch up tomorrow." So I tried, but I got tired and could not finish. So I tried the next day. And I still found myself behind.
After what seemed like an eternity, which was probably more like 3 days, overwhelmed and discouraged, my mom found me secretly crying in the corner of my top bunk, feverishly trying to make things right and catch up.
"What's wrong, Lindsey?"
"Nothing," I said as I shook my down-turned head.
She spies the open Bible in my hand, and with that mothering look of concern begins asking questions thinking that maybe it is something I have read.
Unable to hold it in any longer, I blurt out, "I am behind in my reading!!!"
With a puzzled look on her face, she coaxes out of me my decision, my commitment, and my feelings of failure, as I sob unconsolable.
After some love and hugs, I revive from my melancholy, and Mom looks me in the eyes, and pours these words of wisdom in my life,
"Lindsey, God is not mad at you for getting behind in your reading. He is happy that you made the decision to want to spend time with Him in the first place."
It was the beginning of my journey of grace that continues to be a life-long pilgrimage.
Sometimes I still have to remember that the fact that He loves me is greater than anything I can do for Him.
So this new year's, I have some commitments, some decisions, some plans, but mostly, I am stepping into my new year with a whole lot grace on me, in me, through me to do what HE has planned out for me.
His plans are always better anyway.
And I think I just might be okay with that.
“This is what the LORD says— he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” -Isaiah 43:16, 18-19