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Allison Althoff
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Natalie Lederhouse
Natalie Lederhouse

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January 10, 2012

Assessing the Year that Was

Through the good, bad, and ugly I discovered one consistency

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While we often think of the new year as a time to look ahead, to make goals and plans and resolutions, it’s also a time to look back, to take stock of the last year of our lives, and catalog each joy and sorrow before moving on to another year of new joys and new sorrows.

As the clock approached midnight on December 31, I watched as the “farewell 2011” Facebook statuses started rolling in. Many of the posts showing up on my feed also summarily categorized the year about to pass as a “good” or “bad” year in the life of the poster. I wondered if my 2011 had been a good or a bad one; I hadn’t really thought about it. Sure, both good and bad things happen in a year, but nothing so awful and overbearing permeated the full 12 months to a point where it would negate all the good things.

But then a few days later, with nothing but my thoughts and CD player to keep me company on an 11-hour drive, I began mentally plotting my year on a graph to find out if it had been a “good” or “bad” one. As I dug back through forgotten memories and hopes and fears I’ve collected over the last 12 months and charted the highs and lows, I felt even further from reaching a comprehensive assessment of the year that was.

But one thing did become clear—at the end of it all, when many of the fears and hurts that once seemed so immediate have faded into the background of another year—God is still good. His goodness isn’t only the theme of this year and every year but also its definition. Some of the things I feared would come to pass, did. Some hurts persisted or deepened, and some relationships suffered. But it isn’t those moments that will define my year, or my life. It is the goodness of God that pulled me through and brought me here, into 2012, with an even stronger sense of his sufficiency. No matter how I felt throughout each situation, the important thing was that he was there. Not one of those highs or lows was outside his plan for me. It’s so easy to lose sight of this truth when we’re wrapped up in the individual moments and the high or low feels like everything to us. But when we take a step back and survey all that God has done in us and through us, we can’t help but see each experience as another step in our faith journey.

So this year I am praying for God’s wisdom to help me see his presence in each and every situation. May he do the same for you!

Related Tags: assessing, bad, God, good, new year

Comments

I'm absolutely resonating with your thoughts! It's good ... even essential ... for us to sit still and evaluate where we've been and soak up the lessons God has for us.

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