January 2022 – the New Year has begun! I have always been drawn towards “new beginnings”; I find pleasure in saying “It’s March!” or “It’s August!” at the beginning of any new month or year. It reminds me of Hope, of looking forward not backward. One of my favorite quotes is: “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.” The past is gone and you, each of us, has the opportunity to make new choices and have new plans; this in itself is exciting. What will you choose for your new year? What will you choose for your new day? As a counselor, in my former job, it was a delicate, and sometimes difficult, balance to have a client share about their past and struggles they have faced, but also to talk about the present and their future. Many times we carry a shadow from our past and let that continue to affect us. Satan wants to remind of us times we have failed or others have failed us; this keeps us “bogged down” and slows down our energy and our positive thinking. God says “I know the plans I have for you, plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 He wants us to “press on towards the goal, forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead”, as Paul tells us in Philippians 3.
Spending time reflecting is a good thing, however, remember the need to move past the reflecting; confessing sins when needed, and then embrace the forgiveness God gives us and accept His hope. No matter what state you are in, there is hope because we have the one true God that loves us and desires to give us an abundant life. This doesn’t mean every moment will bring us happiness, but our trust in Him will bring us through even our darkest hours. Take stock of where you are emotionally and spiritually, look forward to where you want to be and plan steps to get there, being open to God’s leading. The little steps of our lives do matter and do add up; He will lead us to paths of righteousness. Remain faithful and confident that God is beside you and indeed He is in you, seek Him as Matthew 6:33 tells us: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow.”
So here’s to 2022! May God richly bless you as you walk with Him each new day and month!