Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Make It a Truly Happy New Year

I am writing this blog the last day of 2008. Midnight tonight marks the beginning of a fresh new year. It is unscathed from hurt, disappointment, rejection, and failure. It reminds me of fresh-fallen snow with no footprints (human or animal!). Fresh fallen snow is beautiful and sparkly.

I know a number of people who feel that the year 2008 was one of the worst years of their life. There are a number of reasons involved, but the fact is these people look back over this past year with disappointment, regret, hurt, grief, and relief that it is over.

So how can we prevent that for 2009? Does life just happen leaving us no choice but to either have a good year or a bad year? Does "fate" just take over and make our years good or bad?

Absolutely not! Now, we cannot control the hurts and disappointments that come into our lives. I am thinking of a dear sweet friend of mine. She and her husband were less than two months from celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary when he succumbed to cancer and went to Heaven. This lady had given her life to building a strong marriage and a strong husband. He was a very successful man who depended on the love and help of his wife in a great way. I recall the Sunday after the funeral. She was in my Sunday school class. I was amazed. She had just buried her husband but she got up, got dressed, and went to church. The grief-stricken look on her faced pierced my heart but I watched her week after week as she faithfully came to Sunday school and then agreed to become our class pianist (which we desperately needed; I had been filling in!!!) I've watched this lady put one foot in front of the other and keep walking when I knew she was grieving deeply. I saw her begin volunteering to help at our grade school. I saw her watch her grandson play baseball on my husband's little league team. I saw her be show her grandson and his wife a wonderful time as they visited her for a few days upon his return from Iraq. The week before Christmas she informed me she would be gone for 3 Sundays so would not be available to play the piano. She said, "I know it would not be good for me to stay here during the holidays." So she went to spend time with her daughters.

This lady had a very difficult year as she saw her husband waste away from the cancer. She saw him take his last breath. She has grieved deeply. And yet, in many ways she has had a wonderful year because of her attitude. I am sure she would not choose to re-live the hurt and grief of this past year. But she made choices that have made a difference and that have actually helped her move faster through the grieving process.

She will grieve over the loss of her husband for the rest of her life; but meanwhile she is living a fullfilling and productive life and making a difference in the lives of others. We all have a choice when the hard times come. We can sit and lick our wounds and stop living life. Or we can take time to grieve (no matter what the hurt) while we keep busy and help others. We can focus on our grief and hurt or we can take time each day to grieve and then extend a helping hand to others in need.

Why don't you make some plans for 2009? You don't know what lies ahead, and it may be that some very hurtful and disappointing things may happen. But why don't we plan that when the hurts come and the disappointments and grief seem overwhelming that we will refuse to succumb to their hold.

How do we do that? First and foremost, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." We cannot walk on in victory alone. We can only do it through the strength we receive in Christ. Let's make 2009 a wonderful year; not because no disappointments or hurts come, but because we have Christ on our side to give us strength to make it through the hard times and we have the Holy Spirit to comfort us through the grief that comes.

God bless you in 2009! Have a wonderful and happy New Year!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much. This is so true and a very good perspective!!!!
May the Lord bless you in this New Year.
We are almost done with The Skinner Mill Fire story.
Love, Sue