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  • Writer's pictureKristen Bruce

A New Year for Renewing

I am energized and motivated by new beginnings: a new project, a new school year, a clean journal full of blank pages, the transition into a new season. I’ve always been a dreamer and the Emily Dickinson quote, “Dwell in possibility,” inspires much of what I do. I love the romantic notion that from here on out, anything is possible. The beginning of a new year is a natural time to get rid of old habits and thought patterns, and to commit to not just the new, but the renewing of our minds according to scripture. (Romans 12:2)

Our attitudes and behaviors are a manifestation of what we think – the things on which we meditate, our deep beliefs. Much of our ability to dream and find hope in an unknown future is dependent on our ability to quiet the internal voice telling us the contrary. Replacing negative thinking with God’s truth doesn’t happen overnight. This mind-work must be intentional. It’s often uncomfortable.

In our work with the materially poor or the spiritually poor (which are two very different things, although can be experienced by the same individual at the same time), we find that the transformation of mindsets is a much more complicated and arduous endeavor than the transformation of a physical space like a house or even the economic situation of a family. All real outward changes we observe must first begin as an inward change.

As the Spanish word ver implies, it is our desire to see a better and brighter future beyond our current situation (be it strained relationships, poverty, a health scare.) We trust that God has a plan and that He delights in His children. Despite so many things being beyond our human control, our best strategy is to lay it at His feet and take captive every anxious thought. (2 Cor. 10:5) It is our prayer that God would guide us through the miraculous transformation through the renewing of our minds this new year as those around us in our ministry are challenged to do the same.

Author's Bio: Kristen is the founder and executive director of VER International, a poverty alleviation 501c3 ministry. Her hobbies include reading, writing, photography, and learning new languages. She lives as a full-time missionary in Honduras with her husband, Natán, and little boy, Kairo.

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