2022 has challenged me like never before. I’m not sure when you’re finding this blog post, but there’s a good chance that if you’re reading this than you’ve had a hard year. Perhaps your year has been met with loads of disappointment, let down, grief, or just not meeting your expectations. Whatever the reason that you’re reading this post, I’m sorry.

If you’ve followed along, you know that we actually started our year off with the worst day of our lives (read the post) when we lost our daughter at 13 weeks. It was challenging to say the least that we were only five days into the new year, and every thing I had envisioned for my year came to an abrupt stop. I am a typical goal planner, and I love planning things weeks and months in advance. However, all of a sudden I was smacked in the face with reality, and I was just trying to make it to the next minute or the next hour without panic.

Of course, the year moved along, and while we did experience many joyful moments and days, but it’s easy for me to look back on this year and label it as a loss in of itself. Here’s where I’m leaning – and I’d love to encourage you.

This may have been a hard year, but there was still good.

It’s easy to write things off, but I know that I still have breath in my lungs and that God still did good in 2022. If you’re reading this – then guess what – God is still using you and that means there is still good!!!

A new year is a fresh start, but we have the freedom to start fresh EVERY DAY.

I won’t lie – I love New Years. Truthfully, I love any celebration, and of course, if it’s a national holiday, I’ve probably tried to see how we can celebrate or decorate. It’s just who I am. So naturally, I’m all about New Year resolutions, planning and preparing, and starting fresh! It feels good – ya know? However, I’ve had to remind myself that there is nothing magical about January 1. I, of course, can allow that to be a launch pad for a great new year, but what happens when troubles come my way next year…do I have to wait until 2024?!! I’ve tried to remind myself a new “year” starts every day! From Dec 1 to Dec 1 or March 13 to March 13. There is nothing magical about January 1, and I can restart every day if I have to. Lamentations 3:22-24 says,

“The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;

his mercies never come to an end;

23  they are new every morning;

great is your faithfulness.

24  “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,

“therefore I will hope in him.”

Every day His mercies are new EVERY MORNING. I think we need to give ourselves some grace and mercy EVERY MORNING – remind ourselves that we don’t have to be a prisoner of our past or our hurt. We can have hope that He conquered today, and we don’t have to wait until January 1 for that beauty.

Believe that there is good to come.

As I start a new year, it’s easy for me to think “is this going to be another 2022?!” You know, it very well could be – and I know that. However, I am staying encouraged knowing that this place – Earth – is not my home, and I can have hope that even if I experience a decade of heartache and pain…He is still in control. I pray that I do not have to experience that or be challenged to what I’ve just typed, but I know that there is good to come…even if it’s not in this lifetime.

Here’s a few verses that make me SO excited for what is to come:

“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:4

“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.” Philippians 3:20-21

We can have HOPE! Let’s end this year – no matter what it has brought to us knowing that we’ve been carried through it!!

December 12, 2022

When You’ve Had a Hard Year…

Haley Nicole

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