Well, we did it. We made it through another span of time. And that year may mean different things for each one of us. Some may have experienced loss or tragedy. Some may have experienced joy beyond what their hearts could contain. Still, some may be wondering where that ship is. Wasn’t it supposed to come in this year?
A dear family member lovingly reminded me last night that so much can change in a year. We can change in a year. “Think of where you were last year and how far you’ve come.”
Well…duh…he did have a point. The irony is that it’s from my own mouth that these words usually fall, yet for myself, it slips my mind. More on that in a bit.
While I can’t offer easy solutions or one-size-fits-all formulas, I can offer a gentle nudge to take a knee and process in preparation for the coming new year. A cleansed entering into fresh possibility.
As we near the end of 2017, it’s important to take the time to reflect upon the things that this year brought into our lives. Because it’s not the end goal that matters.
It’s the journey.
Why process and reflection are important
If I’m not careful, I can have the tendency to jump right into the next task or project without allowing any time or space in between. It’s not a conscious thing. It’s the way I’m made. To forge ahead and get things done.
The purposeful making of time to pause and reflect allows for two things.
1. They remind us of how far we have come in just one year.
2. They remind us of everything that can be possible in the year to come.
If all of “that” (whatever “that” is) happened in the one year that has passed, it gives us the lens to see all that can be possible in the year to come. And that breeds one thing.
Something that is so desperately lacking in the world today.
A bit of my story
I offer some encouragement to you. To pick the story back up, as I awoke this morning and took in the cold morning sunlight, coffee in hand, I was reminded of just how incredible this year has been.
This time last year, I was not only struggling, but sinking fast. I had gone through a layoff just the year before and had decided to go back to school full-time. Which is no easy task for a late thirty-something supporting herself.
Shortly after spring break, an opportunity came that colored much of this year for me. I was presented with the opportunity to complete my practicum in Paris, France. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity indeed.
By all counts, it should have been impossible for someone in my position to go.
And yet the provision came and it easily became one of the top three most amazing experiences of my life. As much effort as went into preparing, planning, and then carrying it out, I realized that I was now on the other side of it. The task is completed and my faith is strengthened as a result. Quite a different place from where I was only 365 days ago.
And, so I offer the same encouragement to you.
With the new year comes much potential. Anything can happen. And as we await the new chapter, take some time to remember how far this year has brought you — and how far you can still go.
The possibilities are endless.