Welcoming This New Year

Welcome friends,

How are you in this New Year?

My inbox and social media feed are packed with people reflecting on this last year. We’re pretty much in agreement about saying good-bye to a year we’d rather not repeat.

At the end of each year I read over my journals from the year and reflect on the past days. This year was no different in that while I was perusing the pages I cried about some moments, grateful to be past others and marveled how God has brought us through.

It’s amazing how a year can change our perspective. This year has for sure done that on many levels.

Some people are ready to kiss it all goodbye with no looking back, while others are searching for some significance in it all. There’s some good in both those approaches.

My word for the year 2020 was RELEASE and how could we imagine all we would release and let go of in 2020? I marvel at how God knows our days before one of them comes to be. He knows what we will face before we even see it on the horizon.

There was a lot of releasing last year. Events scheduled, planned, and dreamed about and then cancelled, rescheduled or reinvented.

There was a lot of reshuffling and creative problem-solving going on. And for someone who doesn’t like change I actually loved the creative problem-solving aspect of it all. Maybe it was the challenge of someone telling me I can’t do something and then maneuvering and making a way to get it done despite the “No, it can’t be done” handed down to me.

Now we’re looking toward a new calendar year and the landscape is still not a clear shot to the horizon. But has it ever been? If anything, 2020 taught us to expect the unexpected in a whole new way. What once was will not be again.

And with that in mind I have chosen a new word for this upcoming year. I enjoy this process of focusing my attention on a theme and direction at the beginning of a new year. It brings some resolve to my heart and when things go wonky it’s good to refocus attention toward where God is leading. This year, just like last year, we will face unexpected turns and new paths not yet forged. I’m believing Him to bring us through to the end.

My One Word for this year:

WELCOME: to greet the arrival of with pleasure or kindly courtesy; to receive or accept with pleasure; regard as pleasant or good. To welcome a change.

For this Enneagram 6, change is not my strong suite. It’s not my favorite. I already know of some change coming down the road at me.

  • My oldest daughter changing her location to the other side of the country.
  • My oldest son changing his relationship status from engaged to married come May 2021.

And that’s just the change I know about. Only God knows what else is coming.

And how will I manage it? I’m hoping when change comes I can welcome it. Will I find the good and the joy in the new arrangement of schedules, situations and circumstances? Or will I resist and fight against newness instead of welcoming change and managing it well ?

Last year when I turned 50 I had this new realization: I have control over more than I give myself credit for. I have control over my attitude. I have control over where I allow my thoughts to linger. I have control over my actions and the words I speak. I also discovered I have more resilience and fortitude within myself than I realized.

I’m thinking many of us learned that this year. We are more resilient and flexible than we thought we could be. Living in an environment where change was coming at us on a continual basis we had to adapt or break. And I’ll admit I did much of both.

Even though we may not have enjoyed 2020, we adjusted and became flexible to remain sane and upright.

In this next year, more change will come. There will be more growth needed and areas where God will prod us to release our own will and yield to His Spirit working in us.

After a year of unexpected surprises and upheavals, it would be nice to welcome a new year with joy. But in the midst of everything happening it doesn’t look like that will be the case.

Yet, in spite of unrest, we have a God who welcomes us into His rest.

I pray we welcome His Presence like sun shining on a new day.

  • May we welcome God into our lives; trusting Him with our days and times.
  • May we welcome the changes and adventures He has laid out for us.

I’m already guessing this will not be easy. Yet difficulty isn’t always bad. And for this natural pessimist there’s growth in admitting that. Struggle can be growth and growth is good. This will be a journey for sure yet God is faithful and He will see us through to the end.

I welcome you to join me in choosing ONE WORD to focus on and grow together. Do you have ONE WORD or goals you are working towards this year? I would love to hear from you about it. Leave a comment and let’s do this together.

Welcome 2021 – a new year of adventure!

~ Rachel

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