As 2017 comes to a close and 2018 approaches, before we begin to make
all of our plans and set all of our goals for the upcoming year, we
ought to take some time to settle with the year we are currently in and
tie up whatever loose ends we have.
We should desire to go into 2018 with confidence, grace, and healed hearts.
One of the most difficult things about changing seasons is leaving the
past behind us and moving forward to what lies ahead (Philippians 3:13).
This can be hard to do, especially if we’ve had a hard year and are
struggling to feel positive about what might be next. And yet, even when
things have been so sweet, we can be uncertain of the coming season –
wil it threaten the peace and happiness we’ve come to enjoy? Looking to
the future means looking to the unknown.
Either way, I have learned that through Christ, all things are possible.
That means that no matter what 2017 held for you, Christ is able to
walk alongside you to help you to move forward in your life. This
doesn’t mean that we should push our feelings and thoughts aside in an
attempt to hurry and get over them for the sake of a new year. Rather,
we have to be willing to let go of control and allow Christ to reign and
rule over our lives, submitting to his authority and plan, and trust
him to help us in whatever way we need while we move forward.
Take some time between now and the new year to think through your 2017.
Take note of the condition of your heart and why it is in the current
shape that it’s in. Then, in your secret prayer time, go to the Lord and
have him survey your heart. Open it wide for him, lay your 2017 at his
feet, and choose to walk with him to the place that he has for you.
Here is a small prayer that you can pray as you reflect on 2017 and prepare your heart and mind for the new that is coming:
My Father who is in Heaven, hallowed be your name. I thank you for
keeping my heart, my mind, and my body in 2017. I know that many of the
events that have transpired over the course of the year may have been a
surprise to me, but none of them were a surprise to you. I bless your
name because you are holy and worthy of my trust. Therefore, I rest in
your goodness and I ask that you would heal the parts of me that need
it, and protect the parts of me that are whole and pure. I walk into
2018 with open arms, knowing that you have a hope and a future for me. I
leave 2017 knowing that you cause all things to work together for my
good because I love you and have been called according to your purposes.
Have your way, oh Lord and wherever you lead me, I will follow. For I
pray this in your son Jesus’ precious and mighty name, Amen.”
[written by Britnee Bradshaw]