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Feeling New

What does it feel like when you’re new? It’s like your first pair of shoes: squeaky clean and ready to go, but they don’t quite fit yet. It’s like the first snowfall of the season: fresh and unblemished but frigid. When you’re new, it’s as if you are walking in to your first day of freshman year all over again, except you’re not. You’re older now and supposedly a bit wiser, but you feel like that awkward, bumbling teen who doesn’t know where she’s supposed to go or how to act in order to fit in.

When you’re new, what you really desire is a sense of belonging. You don’t want to be like everyone else, but you want to find people you can deeply relate to, people who will value what you value and appreciate you for who you are and the gifts you bring to the world.

After a while, you become seasoned. Some might call you a veteran instead of a rookie. You’ve quietly found your place among like-minded people, so you’ve forgotten the discomfort of feeling your way through a crowd and not knowing if others will accept you or not. You’re weathered from experience just like your favorite pair of shoes, and life becomes comfortable again.

We’re surrounded by newness every day: a new period of twenty-four hours, a new sunrise, dewfall, bud opening on a flower. We encounter new situations every day: the person cussing you out in traffic, the unexpected handwritten note from a long-distance relative, the surprise compliment from a stranger.

For me, feeling new happens every day.

You see, I am a mom of three beautiful daughters. Two of them have very different special needs. Our middle daughter, Sarah, is medically fragile, because she was born with a rare craniofacial condition that affects the development of her facial bones, skull, hands, and feet. Week after week, we learn something new about her Apert syndrome – a new developmental milestone has transpired, and we’re facing additional diagnoses. Sometimes the newness is in the mystery, the “not knowing” what we will face or what she will face in the future.

My husband and I also feel like that new pair of shoes or the kid who just moved to the neighborhood, because essentially we are. We recently moved to a new city and home, and we welcomed a new little life into our family less than a year ago. So everything is different. It’s like we are learning to dance for the first time or ride a bike after twenty years of leaving it to collect dust in the garage.

God is the only constant that never changes. When all else seems to be up in the air, uncertain, or in the middle of a mess, we can abide with confidence in the promise that He remains with us. Share on X

God teaches us so much in the constant changes. For one, He is the only constant that never changes. He remains “the same yesterday, today, forever.” When all else seems to be up in the air, uncertain, or in the middle of a mess, we can abide with confidence in the promise that He remains with us. And that abiding, no matter how awkward we might feel or how vulnerable and exposed we are all of a sudden, means that we can rest in Him.

…from everlasting to everlasting, You are God. – Psalm 90:2

Text (c) Jeannie Ewing 2018, all rights reserved. Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

Jeannie Ewing is a Catholic spirituality writer who focuses on the topics of grief, redemptive suffering, and waiting. Her four books include a meditation journal, a devotional, and two books on the topic of discovering joy in the midst of grief and waiting with expectation. She is a frequent guest on Catholic radio and contributes to several online and print Catholic periodicals. For more information, please visit her website

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