The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
The coming of a new year can cause a range of various emotions and reactions. It can be agonizing, horrendous, anticipated or dreaded. Looking back at the 47 previous New Years that I have experienced, I can say that each New Year has brought its own meaning to me. For instance, 1984 found me as a babysitter cleaning up baby puke at the stroke of midnight. The year 1991 brought a new marriage and a new life as a missionary’s wife in a foreign country. I believe I have “celebrated” several years by being sound asleep long before the stroke of midnight. I’ve spent other New Year’s Eves at church services, Sunday School Parties, youth lock-ins (oh, ugh!!) and simply sitting at home watching Dick Clark in Times Square (which was much easier to do when I lived in the Central Time Zone).
The worst New Year’s Eve in my past was that transition from 1999 to 2000. If you recall, the world was breathlessly waiting to see if the turn of the century would cause “modern technology” to fail, bringing down power grids and basically halting life as was known. So, as the rest of mankind was preparing for the unknown terror that the proposed Y2K hype would supposedly bring, I was experiencing my own personal Y2K as my long-deteriorating marriage had ended. Although, a divorce was not final at this point (I didn’t even file until February 2001) the X’s mental illness had spiraled out of control at this point and he was no longer in the home. All of my life, I had taken great pride in being independent and resourceful, but for the first time I was scared out of my wits because life, as I knew it, was coming to a crashing, horrific halt which I was absolutely powerless to stop.
I had absolutely no clue what the next hour would hold, much less the next year. And, oddly enough, this very night in 1999, I was busying myself with going door to door in my neighborhood searching for owners of a stray dog which appeared on my porch earlier during the day. Why I was trying to save a dog when my life was crumbling apart is beyond me, but I distinctly remember carrying a shivering dog, which was obviously someone’s pet, around to the neighbors to see if someone recognized him.
Looking back 15 years ago this evening, I was in such a pit of gloom and despair that I had no idea how I was going to survive. But, God knew and it was not a surprise to Him. He knew I would be writing out my thoughts 15 years later (while sitting on my bed with my rescue dog, Pickles, by my side). I have been blessed beyond measure because I am His. King Jehoshaphat’s declaration in II Corinthians 20:12 has become my declaration: We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you. In every situation where I had nowhere to turn but up, He was there.
Now I’m faced with my 48th New Year. As with every year, 2015 had its share of ups and downs. This year, I have: celebrated the birth of our first grandbaby, spent 4 months in a walking boot with a painful injury, attended weddings, been thoroughly blessed with my church family, watched my children transition into adulthood, taken a 200 mile bike ride with a group of grandmas, recovered from my injury and completed several 5Ks and my second half marathon (and shaved an hour off of last year’s time), have dropped 20 pounds, feel more physically fit than ever before and, sadly, like last year, said goodbye to too many friends as they have graduated to heaven. No matter where I was, who I was with, what I was doing or what my emotional state, He was there.
Where does this New Year find you?
One thing I DO like about the coming of the New Year is, although it is not really a “do over”, it is a chance to start again. Start anew. Start with a clean slate. Has it been a crummy year? Well, then…guess what…the year is OVER!!! Has this been a good year? Well, guess what….the year is OVER!!!! For some of us, it will be a sigh of relief; for some, it will be sad; for some it will be a time of rejoicing and others it will be bittersweet.
As you reflect this past year and project into next year, remember this: God is I AM. He is not:
I used to be
I could have been
I might be
I want to be
I might have been
I have been
He is right here, right now. He is I AM.
Blessings to all and may the year 2016 be a time of new beginnings!