The Christmas decorations are fading into the background at our house; they feel a bit like clutter. We’ll pack them away tomorrow. The girls gave away their old toys without out a flicker of sentiment (Even Charlie and Lola. Could it be that I actually love their toys more than they do?). They play with their new toys for hours as though these toys are old friends. My hubby is immersed in a new book. Christmas may have 12 days, but for us, this bit looks remarkably like the rest of our lives… Yet amid the Christmas presents, the great meals, the fun times, there’s a bubbling excitement inside of me, almost to be point of giddy. We’re on the cusp of a New Year.
I love New Year’s Eve; I love New Year’s Day.
A New Year has always given me Hope. The past is now the past. Time has led my life to a new beginning, where things could be different. Things would be different. I would never have to repeat that day, that month, that experience, because I couldn’t ever go back to that exact moment in time. I’d been given another chance, and I was determined to take it. My perspective has been tempered over the years . There are moments I’d love to go back and repeat, final conversations that I’d love to continue. Those memories make me wistful. But the Hope remains.
This year I’m aware of a Hope stealer; something that can pollute a new beginning. I’ve realized that to truly step into all that 2012 has in store, I’ve had to say goodbye to 2011. Yes, the past is in the past, unless you allow it to live on in your heart, unless you relive it in your mind. Yes, you have a new start. Unless the past casts a shadow that transcends time, distorting the beauty of a new day. Sometimes our best intentions for running into the future are tripped up because we run from facing our past. We’ll need to turn face some things in order to say goodbye.
The things we need to say goodbye to aren’t always hurts and wounds. It might be a habit, a comfort zone. They might be good things that we’ve simply outgrown. How can I walk into the unknown with God whilst seated, no, embedded in the familiar? Time to say goodbye.
I drove to the beach the other day, ready to do business with God. Its funny how, standing on this beautiful beach, looking out onto the vast Pacific Ocean, I still find ways to argue with my Creator, but anyway. The praying began; the wrestle until the surrender. I drew a line in the sand, and the other side of the line waited for me to arrive. I know it sounds formal, and perhaps a little weird. But…I needed to say goodbye. It had to be my voice, expressing my choice. I know the outworking of our decisions can be a process – but what kind of life was I going to choose?
Would I choose bitterness, or would I choose grace? Would I choose hurt or would I choose wholeness? Would I choose comfort or would I choose calling? Would I choose fears or faith? Would my old habits hold me back, even the good ones, or would I let the Lord lead me forward? Is my life open still open to His guidance, His leading? There are many things in life that are much bigger than me, way beyond my control. Yet I do have responsibility for how I respond to the opportunities and challenges that come my way. And I’d like to keep choosing life in all its fullness. I choose Him.
I stepped over the line, washed my feet in the ocean and said Goodbye to 2011. Walking back to the car there’s this bubbling excitement inside of me, almost to the point of giddy. Hope is back. Because it’s time to say hello to a New Year.
What do you need to say goodbye to as you enter a New Year?