Another year is done. 2021 has come and gone.
New goals and challenges await us just a few feet away in 2022. Wait, though.
Before you waltz through the portal into the next chapter, have you properly said your goodbyes to this year? Every curve in the road is worth remembering, documenting and placing signs for the next weary traveler to see.
Don’t waste a year, a heartache or a single tragedy. There is something beautiful behind every trial. God can make beauty from ashes and glory from shame.
Have you ever watched a TV series from beginning to end? Isn’t there something moving about watching these beloved characters move forward with their lives? I know for many of you, some of the hardest shows to watch were the ones you didn’t get proper goodbyes to, so there is a sense of unfinishedness.
I wish every season, chapter and year had the feel of Will Smith turning the lights out, JD reliving every moment and envisioning his future in “Scrubs” or Andy realizing that you are always in the “Good ol’ days” eventually. My heart rends when I see these characters I love symbolically walk out of my life and into the rest of theirs.
Well, 2021 is about to do that. Don’t let her walk out without giving her a last look of joy and endurance. I want to provide you with an exercise that might help you get a little more ready to put this year to bed.
The first thing I want you to do is to summarize this year.
What has happened? Write down what 2021 has meant for you, whether in short or in great length. Recognize the heartbreaks, opportunities, goodbyes and joys. Give voice to the emotions left after this year.
If you could sum up this entire year into one phrase, what would it be? Maybe, you should find a scripture that will help you remember the significance of this year. Take time to document all this year has meant.
Secondly, I want you to take every hurt and dark season in your mind. Take the time to grab every single struggle or painful moment, and I want you to envision yourself in those raw pain-filled moments.
Then, I want you to forgive. Forgive yourself or those who hurt you, and you may need to forgive 2021 as a year. If this year was a disappointment, then say that and let it go. Let the hurts and fears associated with this year die along with her. A bright new year is coming, so you won’t need a single bag of heartache to carry over to your next chapter. Let it die.
Now, begin to dream again.
What do you want to see in 2022? What is the beautiful moment that you are going to cherish and hold onto? God has incredible plans for you. Do you want what He wants? He is close to you and is ready to take you further than ever.
Run! Do not get weary in doing good. Write down what you want to accomplish and make it plain so you can see it daily and keep walking toward it. You are worth it. And, we need you to be fully alive next year. Dream again and dream big.
I think every season deserves a summary chapter. You don’t need your hurts anymore, and the world shines when you chase your dreams. 2021, you were a friend I have loved and hate to see go, but goodbye.
Hello, 2022. I’m so thrilled to meet you!
Pastor Emanuel Webb Hoggard is pastor at Askewville Assembly of God and a resident of Edenton. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.