Could becoming the new you really be as simple as stepping into a pair of new shoes? It sounds almost cliché. But in essence, the answer is yes.
God gave me this picture of new shoes the other day as a theme for this New Year. And it can be yours too. It’s a mental picture I will be carrying around with me during the year as I step out in new ways and do new things. You’re welcome to grab ahold of it and tuck it into your wallet as well, so that you can pull it out from time-to-time to remind yourself.
I had this new-shoes revelation the other day as I was talking to a newer friend. She had shared some personal information with me and the discussion had progressed into some really interesting and deeper places. God brought insight, encouragement, healing, and excitement into a discussion that I hadn’t been anticipating at all. It was a fun surprise. Both of us ended up feeling encouraged and blessed. But the biggest treasure that came out of that conversation was what God showed me afterwards about myself.
I realized after our interchange that my responses would have been completely different if I had had this very same conversation even a year ago. I had changed and grown immensely in just one year. Yet I still felt a bit unsettled afterwards because of the newness of the ways I had related in conversation. I had felt confident. I had felt empowered. I shared things that God had shown me. I shared personal experiences and even challenged her in ways that I had been challenging myself. I felt like I had tapped into a hidden teacher mode within my heart that I didn’t even know existed.
But the thoughts of, “Did I come off too strong? Seem over-confident?” did occur to me afterwards. Being assertive and confident in the area of exhorting, encouraging, and teaching is relatively new for me.
“It’s like a new pair of shoes”, God explained to me afterwards. “You’ve already stepped into and are walking around in them. They just feel awkward. They aren’t completely broken in yet.”
That was EXACTLY what I needed to hear in that moment of doubt. I LOVED the shoe metaphor. God knows that my favorite love language is when He speaks to me in metaphors. A picture really IS worth 1000 words.
So I totally got it. I understood. New Shoes. And depending on the type of shoes you buy, some take much longer to break in than others. Soccer cleats, for example, take a little while. But cowboy boots take FOREVER! Take these green boots for example—I’ve had them for a few years and I can still only wear them for a few hours at a time.
So what shoes are you metaphorically wearing for this year? I know that many of you have a theme for this year: to be braver, more confident, more creative; to enjoy life more, to become more physically or emotionally available to your loved ones; or to be more assertive to break through tough places in your life.
What shoes would represent that?
Are you in a tough season where you are focused on removing some life obstacles and need a pair of steel-toed boots? Are you in a season where you are trying to relax and enjoy life more and are therefore donning a pair of flip flops? Are you in a time of trying to tap more into your creativity—maybe you need a pair of ballet shoes? Or maybe you are in a season of learning how to incorporate more femininity into the marketplace—and you need a pair of black heels with some sparkly bling.
Where are you going this year? What are your life goals for 2016—spiritually, physically, emotionally, or in your family or job? What shoes will you be stepping into?
Just remember that there is always a “breaking-in” period. Every time we make a transition in life, those beginning days are usually awkward. Whether you are stepping into a new job or a new pair of shoes, it takes some time to establish your new equilibrium. Your “new” normal.
So embrace the awkwardness. Step into your new shoes. Yes, they may feel totally different from your last pair. But you are in a new season. You just need to “break them” in.
Keep walking forward…
God is with you in your new shoes!
“Every place on which the sole of your foot treads shall be yours….” (Deuteronomy 11:24)
“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns” (Isaiah 52:7).
“He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights” (Psalm 18:33).
“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave or forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6).