It’s a new year. In fact, we’re 22 days in.

And as I woke up on the first day of this brand new year, I felt refreshed and thankful.

Thankful for new beginnings.
Thankful for fresh starts.

I welcomed the new year in with some friends, a couple of great bands, and about 10,000 people at Liberty University.

The band that counted us down was Third Day… and as much as I love Third Day, I was exhausted and in pain from walking around the huge campus — my leg hurt like crazy.
So I sat down.
We had great seats and the girl in front of me was sitting down as well, so I could sit there and not miss a thing.
So for the whole set, I sat.

At the 8 minute mark, everyone in the crowd stood up and started getting excited.
Everyone except for me.

Then I heard Jesus, gentle as ever, speak to my heart.

“Are you really gonna sit down and miss out on all this fun I’m letting you be a part of?
I know you’re in pain.
But do you really wanna spend the last minutes of this year and the first of the new one by allowing this disease to beat you?
Wouldn’t you rather push through and spend the time by beating the disease and being an overcomer?”

So I stood.

And it took all of my strength, and a lot of His.
But from the 8 minute mark, i stood up and overcame.
Yes, my leg hurt worse standing.
But yes. It was worth it.
I finished out 2013 and started 2014 by standing in His strength and not allowing my body to get the better of me.

And so the following morning, as I woke up and walked outside in Lynchburg and felt the mountain air in my face, and stared at the beautiful creation God laid before me, I began to feel incredibly grateful.
Grateful for new beginnings and fresh starts.
Especially for a God who never leaves our side year after year.

I don’t know what this new year holds for me… but I have to believe it’s going to be better than the last one.

The next day marked one year since this disease got so bad that it finally forced me to quit basketball,  and all the other sports I loved so dearly.

But I choose to believe this will be the year that things turn around for me and my health.

As the clock struck midnight and 2014 officially began, I closed my eyes and took a deep breath of relief…. because as C.S. Lewis so famously said, “there are far better things ahead than any we leave behind.”

May 2014 be the year that we all see better things come about in our life.

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