by Debbie Altman

Well, it’s a New Year! There are so many great feelings that come with a new year! There is a freshness, a feeling of new beginnings, of new energy, of letting the past go. Just taking all the Christmas décor down lends itself to a feeling of packing up the old, and clearing away the clutter. There is the desire to cleanse our bodies, our minds, and our houses! To simplify, re-orient, re-prioritize. I’ve felt all of these things with the coming of this new year!

But to be honest, in the midst of all of this renewal, I have also felt some discouragement. Somehow it can feel that everything should be new, and fixed and different. But the truth is, that we bring a lot of the old into the new year. Things that cannot be changed right away. Things that we may have no power over. Things that are hard, things that have not yet been restored. Things we are waiting on…

I love a quote by Rick Warren that I read years ago.

“I used to think that life was hills and valleys—you go through a dark time, then you go to the mountaintop, back and forth. I don’t believe that anymore. Rather than life being hills and valleys, I believe that it’s kind of like two rails on a railroad track, and at all times you have something good and something bad in your life. No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad that needs to be worked on. And no matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good you can thank God for.”

I love this, because I find it to be so true! I have SO MANY blessings in my life! As a good friend always says…”I am more blessed than I deserve!” But in the midst of my “blessedness” I still deal with challenges, struggles, disappointments, and the things that I am still “praying through.”

So, once again, we realize that God is our only source and hope for the New Year. Once again, we are reminded, that we can’t go on another day without Him. That He is the One we must look to, that He is our refuge and strength, that with Him we will make it through, that with Him we will thrive!

Jesus, help us to rejoice in this New Year and the amazing new beginning that You give us, not just every year, but every morning! And help us to cling to You as we continue to fight our battles and surrender our “other rail” to You.

I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. Psalm 16:8

In turning to Me and waiting on Me you will find salvation. In quietness and trust is your strength. Isaiah 30:15

How can you rejoice the New Year? Share below!  

Debbie is the wife of Pastor Craig Altman, and together, they founded Grace Family Church 18 years ago.  She is a former RN and mother of a 27 year old married daughter and 26 year old son.  She is also known as “Nona” to her precious granddaughter. Debbie enjoys family, reading, the beach, and is inappropriately competitive at board games. 

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