The New Year time is a difficult time of year for me. Not because of holiday gluttony or sometimes deathly frigid cold. Not because of the inevitable passing of the Christmas season. Not even because of the mass clamor, at this time of year, of people seeking change in their lives.
OK, well, maybe partly because of the clamor of New Year’s resolutions.
I used to have ‘faith’ that on January 1 I could flip a switch and things could be different. I had hope that January would wipe all that was bad the previous year, as if to delete the unwanted stuff and empty the metaphorical computer recycling container of life without letting it form who I was. I fully believed but never saw it fully realized. But, to be honest, things were never that simple and there was a season of my life I gave up on trying to change who I am. This time of year hauntingly reminds me of that old self but it inspires me now as well because there’s still hope.
January is indeed a great time to let go of things from your past, strive for something better, and renew the spirit to keep fighting the good fight. However – it is, as any moment is, a terrible time to let go of things without first dealing issues and situations that hold us back from greater things which I’ve done so many times before while looking for an easy, quick fix.
This does not mean I’ve given up on change, rather I’ve shifted my perspective and view transforming change as something that happens outside of the month of January all year long, taking a little longer time than I’d like.
I’ve learned through past New Year’s moments – and more importantly other learning seasons in my life – that the things that you want the most, the things that God wants you to learn the most in your journey, come with different expectations than what we attribute. Our expectations can be framed around the thought that the easy, quick approach is not necessarily spiritually ordained, though God wants us to commit to long-lasting change in our lives.
You are not destined to be who you are today, tomorrow. God has invited us on a journey that spans time, patience, diligence and steadfastness. This is not easy – mainly because it requires us to learn from our mistakes… It requires us to not simply let go but to learn, to live, and let go – using our past as building blocks for a future.
The best way that we can transform ourselves is to respect the past, learn from it, and embrace what comes next.
Instead of treating January 1st as a singular season of change in our yearly journey, my prayer for myself, my friends/family, and for you is that we resolve to live a better life with every moment within each year.
Embrace who you are but never turn away the desire for change.
Stick with it, you’re not alone.