Reflection is one of my favorite things to do when we embark on a New Year. I like to look back on the year that is ending to see the wonderful events that occurred throughout the year. This could include accomplishments, fun things I did with my family, or blessings from God. And I also like to look at the year in front of me, deciding what I want to focus on in my spiritual walk, what goals I have, and in what areas I hope to grow.
So I did just that the weekend between Christmas and New Year’s. I will admit that this took a lot of time. I felt like two whole days were consumed with perusing through journal entries. So I have decided to change it up in 2020 and do a monthly reflection. Then at the end of the year, I hope to already have the highlights (and lowlights!) compiled.
Even though it was time consuming, I still enjoyed taking the time to look back over the things that filled my days during the year. And I learned along the way. Here are just a few things that I learned from my reflection:
1 – Progress is not always seen in the moment, but it is still there. In our minds, sometimes things don’t seem to change. We feel like the same person we were last January 1st. But when I looked back at my year, I could see that I changed, I learned, and I grew. My walk with the Lord is stronger than it was a year ago. And my overall attitude and outlook is more hopeful. So at times when you are down because nothing seems to change, remember that change really is occurring. Sometimes small steps are not noticeable in the moment, but they add up over time.
2 – When you keep pressing forward, you will see results. I was amazed to read some journal entries where I felt like the book I was writing was basically a mess. I had so many doubts about the book. It seemed like I couldn’t organize my thoughts nor write anything coherent. But miraculously, the Lord helped this book to come to life and get published. So, no matter what your goals are this year, you might have days where you feel discouraged. Just keep pressing forward. God will get you there!
3 – God is always there. One constant I found in the last 365 days was that God was always there, right by my side. When we open our eyes, we will see His wonders all around us. I noticed so many things in nature this past year, such as beautiful sunsets, lovely rainbows, amazing views of the moon, and so on. But more than that, I also noticed how God worked miracles in my daily life. Things like saving me and my loved ones from car accidents, through events that only God could have orchestrated.
4 – There really is a silver lining to every dark cloud. When I went through my reflection, I jotted down some negative things that occurred throughout the year. However, with each undesirable event, I was also able to find something positive that came out of the situation.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28
These are just a few things that I learned from my New Year reflection. If you decide to do a New Year reflection as well, then please let me know how it went. I’d love to hear about it!