A New Year

When I was little I thought that if I could stay awake until midnight on December 31, I would see something miraculous: the coming of a new year. I assumed there would be some spectacular natural light show as an old year ended and a new one was ushered in. Of course if I could have managed to stay awake that late I would have seen nothing unusual. The night goes on like business as usual. 

And truly there is nothing inherently significant about this night other than it causes us to have to remember to write a new date on our checks (on those rare  occasions I write one). In many cultures this is not even their new year. 

Still, it may be helpful to acknowledge the former year--the blessings and the trials, the joys and the sorrows. Personally, I am glad to have the pain of this past year behind me. Yet I cannot have life without pain. Those are the moments that shape us. Even in the midst of tough years in looking back I see that God was still present. His hand still guided me through it safely. 

A new year brings hope. Changes will occur most likely. And maybe there will be more hardships ahead. Actually, this is quite likely. But there is also the hope of making better choices, of learning from mistakes, and of knowing that pain is a reminder of the joy awaiting in Heaven. 

So goodbye 2014. Goodbye to the pain and the joys, the tears and the laughter. You won't be forgotten, but you don't need to hold me down, either. And hello 2015 with your possibilities and potentials. May God make a path through the year ahead that is clearly marked, and may my feet quickly return to it if they stumble off course.  

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