This year was given to you to be different, now you have to do something different with it. God has been prompting you to make changes. He has been stirring your spirit to shift how you’re showing up for life on the daily.

But, if you’re not on alert, this prompting will quickly fade to a habitual routine of checked out living simply going through the motions. This stirring will fade to nothing more than a good idea in the moment, with no commitment to implement anything long term. This year full of potential and possibility will turn into another year of wishing and waiting and wasting, because you didn’t do anything different. And honey, f you don’t do anything different, how can you ever expect anything to change in your life.

But here’s the reality you need to stare down today. If you don’t do anything different, things won’t just stay the same, they will indeed grow worse.

You can’t build a house, then expect that house to remain the same through the years just because you don’t use it. Wood begins to rot. Paint begins to peel. Metal begins to rust. You can lock it up and never use it in an effort to preserve it, but one day when you come back, you’ll find it worse than you left it.

If you have a debt you ignore, guess what happens when you come back around to deal with it later? It didn’t sit there in the same sad state it was in before, it grew worse. It accrued interest, now you owe even more.

Our debts in life build up the same. We’re accruing interest that must be paid, in the form of a life that is slipping further and further away from it’s true potential. We dig the hole deeper as life erodes and becomes a sad remnant of what God intended it to be.

If you don’t do something about this, it will only grow worse. Your regret will continue to accumulate and you will be left with a mountain standing in the way of you ever living a life you can love again. Mountains of regret create barriers from living as the girl you were created to be.

You’ve been putting your desire for change on the back burner, assuming it will sit there and stay the same until you’re really ready to do something about it. And now you’re shocked in this new year when you dare to take an honest look at the back burner of your life to find things sat there and got worse. They’re further gone now than they were the last time you tried. And guess what will happen this year if you continue to ignore it … yip, it will get even worse.

Can you afford for this to get worse? You can be absolutely certain it will get worse if you do nothing.

It’s like a chin hair. Honey, ignoring it only serves the purpose of letting it grow. Do you want that gnarley hair growing on your chin? It will continue to grow until you pluck that sucker out! Just because you’ve gotten used to it being there doesn’t mean it’s okay for it to remain. This isn’t getting better on it’s own.

There’s a letter in your Bible written 1,963 years ago. A letter you are meant to read today. It’s a letter written by the Apostle Paul as he sits in prison in Rome. A few months ago, I explored in the ancient ruins of Rome and found the prison where Paul wrote some of his letters now tucked away in our bible. Could he have known then that you and I would desperately need his divinely inspired words to guide us as we begin the year 2023?

His words are in Ephesians 4, verses 1-3. Reading from the MSG translation, “I want you to get out there and walk—better yet, run!—on the road God called you to travel. I don’t want any of you sitting around on your hands. I don’t want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere. And mark that you do this with humility and discipline—not in fits and starts, but steadily …”

You stand here today on a road God has called you to travel. A path designed to take you to the life you were created for as the person you are destined to become in the fullness of God. Now Sis, you can’t be sitting around on your hands. You can’t be wishing and waiting and wandering. It’s time to run toward the life available to you! It’s time to make changes and be disciplined. It’s time to have a plan and stay on plan so you don’t end up stuck in some wilderness again this year.

You have been called to travel, not stay here stuck. You have been called to change, not waste away waiting for things to change for you. And this time, be committed to steady progress. Some days the next step will come rather easy, and some days the next step will take every ounce of willpower and strength you have. But recognize, on those hard days if you stop, you will have to eventually start again, and when you do, it will be harder.

No more fits and starts. No more wild and extreme plans you can’t stick to. Recognize, if you’re only starting this to give up in a few weeks, you won’t be any better off this year. That doesn’t have to be your story again. That’s not the story God has for you.

The story God has for you is the story of a girl who aligns her daily actions with the destiny of purpose, and pursues that destiny with steady discipline.

When there’s a chin hair, she plucks it. This doesn’t just get to grow out of control. Hey, life is going to happen, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

When the wood starts to rot, we replace it. When the paint starts to peel, we scrape it and paint again. When the debt comes due, we pay it. When it’s time to do what we said we were going to do, we do it, darn it.

This is how 2023 will be different for you. You’re no longer a girl who ignores reality and delays action. You’re no longer a girl who sits on her hands and hopes the messes will somehow magically fix themselves. You’re no longer a girl who strolls down the same old paths of the past that lead nowhere.

You’re a girl on a mission to live the life you were created for, and move forward every single day, doing everything you can with a steady and disciplined commitment.

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