My inbox is flooding with blog posts about what I will bring into the new year, what I will purpose in my heart for the new year, how next year can be better and so on. Seeing these "catchy titles" in the subject line brings up anxiety. It is another thing to do. Being human is already hard -- now I have to do even more in the new year? I mean, I get it . . . it may be a good time for people to re-boot, re-set, re-imagine. But for me, it just feels like another brick. Laborious.
I'm sure it is because I am a trauma counselor.
But what if we entered 2023 gently and with no expectations for ourselves? What if we entered the year expecting God to bring clarity, healing and companionship? What if we decided to give ourselves compassion and just be?
"But, I should this and that, Meg . . . . "
Should nothing. Are you anxious? There is a good reason for that. Are you struggling to care for your body? There is a reason for that. If you have a "word" for the new year because you struggle in an area, there is a reason for that, too.
Deciding on a word for 2023 isn't going to heal the issue for why you need that word in the first place. Choosing a goal is a bandaid-solution. When I chose the word "hospitality" for the year of 2014, it was because I was still healing from abuse. For years, I did not want anyone to understand or know what was happening in my home. Choosing the word did not actually do anything except cause me to feel like I was still failing in this important, communal, table-fellowshippy necessity for relational and spiritual health. What actually helped was understanding the "why" of my lack of hospitality and then healing THAT. We are so ridiculously hard on ourselves. And, I gotta' say, Jesus just didn't do things like this to us. Not once can I think of a time where Jesus said to set a resolution for the New Year. That actually makes me giggle to even try to visualize that.
What is Jesus like? He is full of gentleness and truth and love. Patience, kindness, grace . . . what might He be saying to us? What I hear, for me, this this . . . .
"My darling Megan, you work so hard. I see it; I see you. I have asked a lot of you, in this life. You could have given up on your spirituality altogether, but you didn't. You chose to come to know Me. Really, actually know Me. And I love that about you! If you were with me right now, I would give you your favorite coffee and just sit and hold your hand. My love, next year, I have plans. Will you just trust me? And go with Me? And see where the Wind blows? I know you! You will ride the end of my spiritual kite wherever I ask you! But you don't have to strive . . . just let Me carry you on My breath. Let Me hold you as you sleep at night. Let Me wrap you in my love, bring you joy and comfort. Let Me dance with your spirit, effortlessly and beautifully. Let me be your Mother and Father. As you enter into this next year, you will never be alone. And I will remind you of that as often as you need. This world is a hard place but, take comfort, I have already overcome this world."
Ah . . . . breathing. Peace. rest.
What is God saying to you, beloved? As we enter into the next year with grace and gentleness and kindness for ourselves, we look like our Father in Heaven.