Facing the New Year

Facing the New Year

It’s that time.

The time of year when everyone starts thinking ahead to the next year. Thoughts of newness fill our minds whether or not we believe in making resolutions. Some of us are happy to say adios to 2015 while others know that this year will hold a special place in their hearts.

No matter what your perspective on the current year is, I want to issue a challenge to you for the New Year. One that I have come to take part in every year–but this time with a bit of an added twist.

On the Road to 2016on the road

I tend to reflect on things. Think things over. OverAnalyze things. I’ve got a feeling I’m not the only one. There are times when this isn’t a good thing, but I think when it comes to end of the year thoughts, these traits can be a benefit. We would be remiss to move into 2016 without stopping to take stock of what happened in 2015.

This type of reflection has less to do with how good we did and more to do with what good God did. How did you see God act in your life this year? What did He teach you? Where did you struggle and He came through? Where are you still struggling?

You see, the New Year is the perfect opportunity to reflect on the Lord, give thanks to Him, and look ahead to the future and what He would have for you in 2016. It’s a time to be honest with yourself–and the Lord–and to really come to terms with where you may lack and where He can strengthen you.

Take Time to Stop

As we rocket toward 2016, the busyness of our lives will threaten to choke out any hope of having a spare moment to contemplate our hearts before the New Year. Don’t let that happen. Seize time with the Lord, whether it be ten minutes today or an hour tomorrow morning, and have a conversation with him. (This is the toughest part for me.)

Facing the New Year by Emilie Hendryx | Putting on the New Don’t be afraid to bring everything to him. Do you want to lose weight in the New Year? Do it with God. Do you want to get up earlier? Ask Him to help you. Do you want to memorize more scripture? He can help. What about cleaning your house more frequently. Yep, God also wants to be a part of that too.

The opportunity we have before the New Year is right in front of us and the beautiful thing is that we are not alone as we walk into 2016. In fact, God wants to walk with us. Just think of what an incredible God we have as it says in Lamentations 3: 22-23:

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
His mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

He is faithful. He is steadfast. His mercies never fail.

A Word from Him & A Pledge from Us

The last thing that I wanted to share with you is something that everyone seems to be doing now: adopting a “word for the year”. I have no idea who started this and, to be honest, I scoffed at the idea last year. I didn’t think the Lord would give me one–oh me of little faith. But, as I pulled out my Bible last year, I decided to ask Him. I knew it couldn’t hurt and if I didn’t get one, then I’d move ahead as usual. But, of course, He was faithful!

He gave me this verse:

From of old no one has heard
or perceived by the ear,
no eye has seen a God besides you,
who acts for those who wait for him.
Isaiah 64:4

He gave me the word wait. 

I don’t have time to share all of the ways I’ve seen “wait” play out in my life this year, winter-1-5but it has been a powerful reminder to me and a type of promise too. I’ll be sharing my new word on my blog in the new year, but I have all confidence that if you ask Him for a word, He will be faithful to give one to you.

In addition to this I’m adding to my New Years tradition. Not only am I going to be asking the Lord for a word, but I will also be asking Him what He wants me to surrender each year. At the end of the service this morning at church my parent’s pastor (Jon Fitzpatrick) encouraged us to ask the Lord what we needed to surrender in order to follow Jesus (Mark 10:21). I immediately knew. The word “agenda” flooded my mind and I knew that the Lord was asking me to hand over the reins of my schedule to Him (as if I ever had control in the first place…but I digress).

As you head into the New Year don’t let these next few days pass you by. Take time to stop. Reflect on last year. Look ahead to next year. Talk to the Lord about it all. He will guide you and He will be with you every step of the way. Just as Paul discovered, “My God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)


Cover Photo by E.A. Creative Photography

Emilie Hendryx About Emilie Hendryx

Emilie is a freelance writer, photographer, and graphic designer living in Northern California. She’s a member of ACFW and writes Young Adult fiction. In her spare time, you can find her designing fun bookish items for her Etsy and Society6 shops all while drinking too much coffee.
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  1. Wait is a good word choice. Like you, I’ve thought about adopting a word but didn’t think I’d find one either. Maybe I need a little more faith in that area, too!

    And I so liked what you said about God wanting to walk with us through everything. To not be afraid to bring it ALL to Him. What a gift we have in that, and it’s something we forget too often. I think you’ve got a wonderful handle on how to round out the old year and bring in the new.

  2. Emilie, I like your word mission and I’ve been asking God for a word for the past two years and He has given them. He even has given me the one for 2016 and like you, I’ll blog about it in a couple weeks!

  3. Janet K Brown (@janetkbrowntx) says:

    I get so busy that I often fail to take time to stop. Thanks for the reminder, Emilie.

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