We are merely hours away from the start of a new year. Many of us will spend these last few hours in re-wind as we reflect on the events of the past year.
It is a time when we re-evaluate our life personally, professionally and spiritually and ponder on what, if anything, we could or would have done differently. The start of a new year is usually taken as an opportunity to make changes or adjustments to our life, whether in letting go of the negative or reaching for that which improves or enhances.
My family and I walked into a popular retail store a couple days after Christmas to find the Christmas trees and decorations replaced by treadmills and exercise gears. An excellent marketing strategy since many consumers will mark the beginning of the new year with one of the most popular resolutions - losing the many pounds that has gradually found its way around our waist lines. And so, we purpose to eat less carbs, exercise more and spend less time in front of the tube.
As we reflect, some will look back and enjoy the wonderful memories created and the accomplishments that were attained. A job promotion, marriage or the promise of one to come, the birth of a child, all of which will bring a sense of joy and happiness.
But for others, areas of their life has completely unravelled and they will look back and only feel disappointment and pain. Failing grades, lost jobs, death of a child or spouse, a disintegrated marriage; and for these the answer will not be found in cutting back carbs or running on a treadmill.
For them, the new year holds very little promise of anything but painful memories and a feeling of dread as a new year only means facing a new reality.
Are you there? Your pain and loss driving you into a sense of hopeless despair?
Our tendency after a loss or painful event is to isolate our self from the world and sink into an abyss of hopelessness. And, though it is natural to want to make this abyss our new home, it can not, should not and must not be. God's plan and purpose for us is not to live hopeless and empty.
"God's plans for your life far exceeds the circumstances of your today." Louie Giglio
Can I encourage you, without trivializing your loss, to determine to move forward?
Your pain is real, very real but frankly there is no way around it, so you face the loss and the grief. Vent, scream, cry and repeat as many times as you need to until you find yourself doing it less and less. You seek and accept help where necessary and remember, an understanding and supportive friend is priceless.
This process is absolutely necessary to survive and adapt to your new norm.
It is said that time heals all wounds. I have found this to be untrue. Time dulls the pain; God heals the wounds.
Do you know that God loves you and with Him you are never alone? He is ever present in your darkest moments, desiring to walk with you; bringing hope, comfort and peace. He is big enough to handle your questions, especially the 'whys?' But even if you never get the answers you are looking for, He remains big enough to carry you through. One small step at a time, one day at a time.
Take hold of His promises
"Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." Hebrews 13:5
"Cast all your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you." Psalm 55:22
"He will call on me and I will answer him, I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him.." Psalm 91:15
I cannot say I know exactly what you are going through, but I have been through enough to know I respect your pain. What I do know is that God is able to carry you through and though you may not, at this moment, be able to lift a party blower to your lips and ring in the new year, resolve to hope. And one day you will be able to say "Even in my suffering I was comforted because your promises gave me life" Psalm 119:50
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