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The Newness Of It All

Welcome to 2015 friends! Whatever things went well or did NOT go well in 2014 are officially behind us (over, completed, finished, unchangeable at this point, and yet are NOT determining factors of our future!) You and I are invited into newness of every kind – new numbers to remember when we write checks (does anyone besides me still do this?), new opportunities to connect with one another, and new choices we can make with our thoughts and attitudes – that in time lead to new ways of living!

Historically I have not handled the New Year transition well, partly because I’m a ponderer and dweller. I like to ponder, reflect and dwell on my choices, regrets, those of others that impact my life, things that are forever over – and so I tend to get all bogged down in the mud of it. God has been doing a lifting in my mind over the past couple years though, and I have been practicing new thoughts and dwellings – upward thoughts that propel my pondering toward the hope of Heaven and dwelling inward on the hope of Christ right here inside me in the right here – right now problems I’m facing.

The result of this new way of thinking is HOPE. It’s bubbling up just a bit, but it’s unmistakable.

I’m beyond thrilled that God is doing this change in me, this re-wiring of my brain. I couldn’t get here on my own, though I have wearied myself at times with trying to be more hopeful.

How are you doing? How is 2014 settling in with you, and how is 2015 looking to you so far? Are you waning or swelling with hope? Let’s be honest, because if we can’t be honest here, where can we be?

For those of you waning with hope, may I call you out of your dark and foreboding thoughts into a lighter, more life-giving place? A place of acceptance, community and fellowship with other women who may be right where you are today! Consider one or all of these options for your waning soul today:

  • Just Women Night – January 30th
  • New groups for women! - morning and evening studies, starting Feb. 3.
  • M2O - if you’re a mom of little ones (0-5)! - monthly meetings.
  • Re:generation - finding freedom from hurts, habits, and hang-ups; meets on Monday evenings.
  • Community Groups - small groups meeting  throughout the year.
  • Starting Point - group for those who are curious about God, have a new relationship with Jesus, or are returning to church after being away for a while. Starting Feb. 15.

If you aren’t sure where to start among these options, consider reaching out to our Care & Connections Coordinator, Sherry Watford. She may be able to help you discern what your “next step” is as you seek to exchange your waning soul for one more satisfied by hope – hope that ultimately comes through an honest relationship with God.

For those of you who are enjoying hope in your soul, who are seeing the benefits of staying close with God this season, I want to call you out of your “happy place” and ask you to join these places of fellowship as a way to spur on other women to continue leaning on Him too! We know all too well that we do not have hope in our soul because WE are so great. Hardly. We know how desperate we were a season ago, or may be again soon. In fact, it was our desperation that probably led us to God in the first place! Perhaps these ways to connect with other women will become for us the sharpening we need to keep our hope in God strong all winter and spring long!

Also, be watching Grace Women for a new way to gather as women – a new way to connect and grow in relationships together! We are excited to share it with you all and are very hopeful it will be a blessing to all of us!

So here is to HOPING I see all of you, the waning and the swelling in hope, at Just Women Night on Friday night, January 30th. God has already registered and is bringing hope with Him – hope you will register too!

Heather Yates


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