I am not big on resolutions because they are usually broken by the end of January. You know the ones: I am going to quit smoking, quit drinking, I am giving up on this man or that woman, I am going to start exercising more, start eating healthy, start reading my Bible everyday. We make these grand statements of improvement as resolutions and basically set ourselves up for failure. I know there are some people that keep every single resolution every year, so just assume I am not talking to you.
Last New Year’s Eve, I had planned to go out with a friend, but she called and said she wanted to stay in for the night. So, I looked for things to do because I was determined not to ring in the New Year alone. I scrolled through the internet, Facebook, Twitter, trying to come up with some event that was not too expensive, too far away, and would not make me feel too awkward because I would be alone. Eventually, I realized that I would be spending the night alone. I laid in the middle of the floor and cried to God, “How long is it going to be like this?” And, when it felt like I had run out of tears, I cleaned up my face and started journaling. It was something that had helped me through some other rough patches in my life and 2011 was a rough, and I mean rough, year. In fact, 2009-2011 had been really bad and I just wanted to move forward.
So, I said, “God, what are the real problem areas of my life?” I know I could eat healthier, exercise more, complain less, and that would fix some external things, but deep down, I needed to know how I ended up in the middle of the floor bawling my eyes out on New Year’s Eve, so I didn’t ever end up doing that again. So, I wrote down what was truly making me miserable last year: grief, hurt, bitterness, fear, trying to control everything. But, that was just one step of the process.
You see, at the beginning of the year, we are really good at identifying the problem, but we need solutions. So, for everything that was causing pain in my life, I thought of a solution. I thought of something with which to replace it. I made little notes for my bathroom mirror, so that when I lost touch of my solutions I would have reminders each day. It sounds corny, but it works.
Last night, I was home alone again after church. It was an awesome service full of love for God and each other. But, you know when I hit the door, the devil hit me with the, “That was nice, but now what? You’re still alone; just you and the cat ringing in the New Year. Have fun with that.” It affected me for about a nanosecond until I thought about all of the love and support I had received and I thought about how much better this year has been than the three preceding years combined. Why? Because everyday, I have been working on solutions. So, at 11:55, I turned off the television, I picked up my guitar and I played one of two new songs that God blessed me with just yesterday. I played and sang in the New Year. First, I sang my new song, Soul Satisfaction, and then, Amazing Grace. I sent my “Happy New Year!” messages, answered a few back, said my prayers and went to bed at peace.
There is nothing wrong with making changes in the new year. I pray that the first solution you consider is Jesus Christ. If you are not saved, He will truly change your life when you surrender. If you are saved, He will truly change your life if you surrender. (Yes, I meant to say the same thing twice). If you don’t know what the solutions are, God will help you find them if you ask. What is going on internally that is causing external bad habits? Because, until you find the solution to the spiritual or emotional mysteries in your life, any physical changes you make may last for awhile, but will eventually be in vain.
It is my prayer that you have a 2013 that allows you to experience the fullness of God because He is the ultimate New Year’s solution! Ms. EV