Happy New Year!

By Resna Marie Brunson, MSC

I heard the same phrase over and over again…”The year went by too fast.”  Although there are the same amount of days/hours/minutes in each year, it does feel as if the years are getting shorter as we get older.  With each passing year we often reflect on the highs and lows we experience and make new plans, goals, and resolutions, hoping  next year is better. Here’s the thing… Happiness depends on what is happening around you.  We feel happy when good things are going on around us.  We feel unhappy when bad things are happening around us.  Since we live in an imperfect world with imperfect people, it is safe to say we really will not have a “happy year” for all 365 days. Tomorrow is a mystery, so no matter how intentional we are about planning we can not avoid somethings that lie ahead. So, what do we do with all our goals, dreams, and resolutions? The Bible gives the solution. “Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” (James 4:13-15). We must embrace the fact we are not in control of the future.

 In a previous post I highlighted the book Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson. Johnson uses the analogy of mice running through a maze to get cheese but when the cheese is moved some mice resist going in a different direction. We realize we are not in control when the cheese in our life is moved unexpectedly. We may become unyielding because we do not want to think or behave differently. We do not want to be subject to something or someone changing the goal post. It does not seem fair if I meticulously plan ahead for it to only be in vain! 

So how do I plan ahead while rejoicing in this moment? How can I prepare for the unknown? A few years ago I attended a funeral of a young lady who was the same age as my daughter. Afterwards I visited one of my close friends who had been a young widow with 3 small children. I shared how sad I was and thought I would not be able to survive if that were my daughter. She said to me “God gives you the strength you need when you need it.” As much as we prepare for trails, tragedy, turmoil, we are never ready. We learn to survive by embracing the strength in each moment.

When thinking about some of the challenges we faced last year (and still are facing), we may find ourselves saying the lyrics to the old gospel classic by Mahalia Jackson, “my soul looks back and wonders how I got over.” Maybe getting over was simply getting out of bed, taking a shower, getting dressed, breathing…living.

Perhaps fear of days ahead is preventing you from experiencing daily strength. Perhaps, thinking about the lows of last year erases your hopes for today. Perhaps, you have had many years full of storms and you gave up on seeing a year with  clear days. Perhaps you do not think you will “make it over.” Having someone to help you to remain grounded and balance the highs and lows of this year may be helpful. Ready to take the next step.

Resna Marie Brunson, MSC

Leave A Comment