New Years plans this year? ”Why yes, I’m going to a party in Manhattan.”, ”I have a great date this year!”, “I have a family party.”; “I’m….spending the evening alone with Jesus…at my church.”
It’s always fun to get all dolled up on New Years spending time with a loved one, family or friends. It’s one of my favorite evenings of the year.
This year, it had been on my heart for some time to spend the evening alone with the Lord. I thought to myself, people are going to think I am crazy! I even giggled at the idea myself, up until the moment I left my front door. I asked my Pastor if I could borrow the sanctuary at my church for the evening and there it was, I had a date set with Jesus.
That evening, my attire consisted of a pair of flannels and fleece slippers to match. Blanket? Check. Candles? Check. My Bible, journal, and a few CD’s, Check. And I was off to the church at 10:30pm on New Years Eve.
Right when I walked into the sanctuary and turned the lights on, I was in awe of it’s beauty. I had grown up in this church since I was a little girl. I could picture myself nervous up on that stage for my confirmation and there I was setting up a little picnic blanket by the alter. I put on a Kari Jobe CD and was so blessed by all the words in her songs. My father had given me a card and box that I opened shortly after getting everything settled down. It was a beautiful card and necklace.
I didn’t go there with a specific plan, but knew it was where I was supposed to be. One thing that came to mind for the evening prior to, was to light a candle in remembrance of every guy that had ever broke my heart and at the end, a large candle for the Lord. I lit the candles and one by one said a prayer specifically to each man. I remembered the beautiful memories we shared and said a prayer for them wherever they are today. It was like a movie playing in my mind for each one (luckily, I remembered the good) and such a freeing feeling for each candle I blew out. At the end, I had the necklace my father had given me and a large candle to represent Jesus and His unfailing love. How I had gone through all of these men in search of the love– that was in front of me all along.
I wrote my prayer requests and some dreams for the new year, a letter specifically to Jesus and a letter to my future husband. At first I didn’t know what to write, but it didn’t take long until the words came to me. I folded each note and put them in the back of my journal.
I couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful evening. My date with Jesus was by far the most beautiful I’ve ever had. (…and I even got to wear flannels!) I drove home a little after midnight and saw a beautiful fireworks show on the way home, and I knew that this was going to be a very special year. The freedom and healing I have felt from that evening has been overwhelming. I have a true sense of joy,peace and rejuvenation to enter this new year in running my non-profit, nannying and all else life has in-store.
I did something that to most probably looked outside the box, I myself thought “why am I so strange.” But I share this with you all because in life we make so many excuses. Holidays are a fun time to spend with family and friends, but sometimes it is so truly rewarding to lay down our plans at the feet of our heavenly father and give Him our full undivided attention.
Dear sisters, I don’t know where you are as you are reading this, but I pray for the same freedom and healing for you this moment wherever you are in your life. May you take time aside to spend with Jesus and may you find the peace and healing you are needing in your life.
Kristina Lee Grandstaff