New Year's Wish

A few years ago, on a snowy December day, as my baby girl napped after a fun afternoon grown-up playdate, I sat toe-to-toe on the couch with a girlfriend who was walking through a particularly hard season. We drank our coffee, used half of a box of Kleenex as we considered the heartache that she and many others had been through in the previous year. Listening to her story, all I could say was,

“Next year is going to be better.”

It sounds like a nice wish, or one of those things you say because you feel awkward and just want to make someone feel better, but these weren’t meaningless words for me. I knew in my gut that they were true.

I knew, because the previous year, I had experienced the truth of needing a better New Year. We’d had a baffling 12 months – experiencing the loss of a baby, a 4-month long cancer scare, major surgery, healing, opportunities beyond our imagination, the death of dreams, the birth of new God-sized dreams, and beginning the heart-searching, emotionally-draining yet hope-filled process of adoption training and home-study preparation.

I knew, that after that year that left us feeling like we had nothing left, God was not done.

New Year's Wishes - Quote

There was hope. My God-sized dreams were not over. God had not forgotten us. And it was true. The Redeemer redeemed. The New Year was not without challenges (because what year is?), but it was a beautiful year of redemption. It wasn’t perfect or easy at all, but we saw our Redeemer in this land of the living. Our New Year was better. Thank God for the fresh start of a new calendar.

I could not have imagined what God had planned for us. In that New Year, our empty arms were filled with the most beautiful of babies, and we understood how and why some things had happened the way they did, when we saw pieces (that we didn’t even know existed) fall into place.

God is so very good to us, isn’t He?

Know this: better doesn’t mean easy, or that everything just magically falls into place. It may mean greater challenges, because you’ve learned to be faithful in the small things. Or perhaps, it means that our perspective has changed to see our circumstances in a new way, when nothing else seems to have changed at all. The truth is, for some of you, this New Year will be harder. It can still be good though. Regardless, when we soften our hearts and allow ourselves to be comforted, growing through our experiences, what makes our New Year better is that we are changed.

It my own experience that allowed me to understand in a fresh way this truth:

“God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” (2 Cor.1:3b-5a)

Those words of truth gave confidence that my dear friend’s story was far from over, and that part of the redemption of it would be her own ability to comfort others with the comfort she’d received, just as I was able to do.

So friend, as you start this new year, I want you to know, it will be better.

There are abundant, God-sized mercies fresh for you every morning. You are still alive, and this New Year reminds me that God is not done. There is hope. You have space to grow. Dream your God-sized dreams (dreams beyond what you could ever do on your own), and dare to believe that He will honour them. Press in, and press on. You are deeply loved, and there are beautiful, miraculous things prepared for you, brand new in this New Year. May you have the eyes to see them.

And most of all, in this season of comfort and joy, would you soften your heart and allow Him to comfort you and use the season you’re in? Allow Him to give you a better New Year? I promise you, your year will be transformed by it.

Happy New Year, friend.

New Year's Wishes IG