The Gift of Another Year

All life’s experiences, good and bad, bring us to a place of wisdom with God’s help.

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Posted in , Dec 26, 2017

The gift of a new year

I love new things. A baby fresh from God’s hands to ours. A new book with crisp pages. A journal with empty lines waiting for me to fill them. A new outfit with accessories purchased just to go with it. And I love it when a fresh new year rolls around, because that means there are new opportunities and adventures waiting just ahead.

There’s something exciting about the possibilities of the future—but if I’m honest, sometimes there’s also a bit of fear because I’ve learned from experience that some of those new things are not ones I would have chosen.

I’ve reached (ahem) senior citizen status in the eyes of many, and one the blessings is that I can look back at my life with the beauty of hindsight. There’ve been wonderful years and events, but there have also been hardships.

I sometimes questioned God about why I had to go through those things. And at times I was even mad at Him because it seemed like He wasn’t doing anything. It wasn’t fun to have some of the memories from my childhood. It was scary to hear the doctor tell me after a car wreck that I would never walk normally again. It was heartbreaking to deal with my dad’s suicide.

But now, looking back at my life, I can see that those were the very things that shaped my character. Those were the moments that taught me to trust Him in ways that I would have never known otherwise. And those difficult days were what gave me an intimate relationship with God.

Those hard times gave me empathy for others as they went through the same circumstances. And they were the experiences that enabled me to say, “God was faithful to me, and I know that He will be faithful to you.”

All of us have a fresh new year stretching in front of us. I’m so grateful that we have the assurance that no matter what happens in the days ahead, God has a plan for us, and He will be there with us…in good times and in bad.

Lord, thank You for the gift of another year. I’m grateful for the blessings of this past year and for the assurance that You will always be with me. I look forward to the adventures You have planned for me in 2018—and to the moments that will draw me closer to You. Amen. 

In 2001, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I wasn’t a good candidate for chemo. I took tamoxifen instead and gave my trouble to God—just as Dr. Peale suggested in his book, "Thought Conditioners". Since then I’ve remained cancer free. -Guideposts Magazine reader

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