The new year has begun. Ever notice for how we like newness? We like new opportunity, new relationships, and new cars. We like newness. And, we start the NEW year excited about all the new possibilities.

I think what I want most out of a new year is a new beginning with the ability to start new, afresh, a second chance, to start over gain. That’s what the New Year means for me, for us. But if you really stop and think about it, before moving forward you must say goodbye to the past. Something has to end for a beginning to begin.

Nothing teaches us this like Jesus’ death and resurrection. The resurrection shows us death must happen before new life occurs. I know that, not because I grew up in the faith, but because of our family business. We were horticulturists. We grew flowers. You have to bury a seed before a flower blossoms. I know that but I sometimes forget it. To be honest, I forget it because I don’t like it – at least not when it applies to my life.

Over the past eight years I served as the Teaching Pastor to Women at my church. It was the job of a lifetime. I was allowed to use my giftedness, totally freed up to give my best time and energy to teaching and pastoring women.

I loved what I did, every bit of it.

So it was hard when I realized God was asking me to let it die, put it to rest.  He wanted to start something new in me, with me, through me. It took awhile for me to even understand that’s what he was asking. I didn’t want it; it’s hard to let things you love die. I knew what God was asking when I heard a talk about the women at the grave. She said, “We all want to experience resurrection. We want newness but what these women teach us is if we are going to experience resurrection we have to be willing to walk towards the grave. That’s where it happens. Ugh. I knew I couldn’t avoid it any longer. So I took a long walk toward the grave and slowly, painfully let my dream job die.

True to God’s Word, life comes after death. At the same time I was allowing God to let things end, I was open to what he was bringing in newness. For years, God had been building in me a desire to help women think critically, spiritually, practically about their faith. He’s allowed me to see things, like women living in war torn countries who sell their bodies so they can feed their children. He’s pushed me to learn more and more about what it means to be his image bearers, both men and women. To learn how we are to relate with and to one another. He’s asked me to think, noodle, dig into what it is to be a part of bringing forth his Kingdom society. It was out of all of this pushing, prodding and yes, dying, that The Marcella Project was birthed. We are a ministry committed to transforming women to be critical spiritual thinkers and effective teachers of God’s Word.

I’m excited about what this new year will bring at The Marcella Project but I have to be honest, I’m a bit scared too. See, even though I like newness, the unknown, unfamiliar is a bit scary. You know what I mean? Even still, even in the fear, I’m moving forward. I’ve made up my mind I’m following Jesus, whereever He takes me, whatever it requires. I hope you will join me and our team as we watch God transform, empower and equip women to change the world.