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Happy New Year!

Updated: Jan 2, 2021

Without a doubt, 2020 was a challenging year for all of us. From the Coronavirus, to civil protests, to the election, this year was definitely unprecedented! I think that it is safe to say that we are all ready to close the door on 2020 and begin a fresh and new chapter-2021. I love the new year because it gives us the opportunity to reflect upon the old. We are given an occasion to think about our hopes and dreams. It has always amazed me how effortlessly we slip out of one year and into a new one. I can barely contain my excitement when I start a new year because the new year gives us a chance to move beyond the hinderances of the past-mistakes that were made, dreams that were deferred, and opportunities that were missed. The new year gives us a "fresh, new start." I understand that for all of us, we enter into the new year of 2021 in a different space than where we were last year at this time. For many of us, we have lost family, friends, and jobs as a result of COVID-19. Many of our neighbors are out of work and unsure of how they will take care of their families. The year 2020 has challenged us on every side. But as I begin to reflect upon the new year that God is giving us, I want to be grounded in HOPE. Jesus is our hope-in EVERY situation. It is so good to know that He is our hope and peace and that we need only to trust HIM. This is beautifully stated in Isaiah 26:3-"You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts you." Looking forward into the new year, we don't know what challenge or obstacles await us. Nor do we know what blessings and gifts God has in store for us. But we move into the new year with hope because God is always faithful and He will never fail us. In Philippians 4:11-13, Paul states: "I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength." No matter what the new year brings, it is my wish that we remain faithful in the steadfast love, peace, and faithfulness of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Not only does the new year bring with it hope and excitement, but resolutions to become better and stronger versions of ourselves. We have all made such resolutions: "I'm going to begin a healthy eating and dieting regime; "I'm going to save more money;" I'm going to read my Bible everyday." On average, 80% of new year's resolution fail by the second week of February. Thus, as I think about making a new year resolution, I challenge myself to resolve to do something that will be impactful. However, as I thought more about this, I discovered that this year, it's not so much about what I will resolve to do, but more about what I want God to do in me:

"Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders; Let me walk upon the waters

Wherever You would call me;

Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander; And my faith will be made stronger

In the presence of my Savior."

-Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) Hillsong United

Happy and Blessed New Year

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