Life is full of seasons. The end of a year gives chance to reflect on what seasons we have walked through in the past year. Seasons of hardship, blessing, favour, loss, new beginnings and endings; we have all walked through a lot in a year.
These past few years have been hard for so many of us. The pandemic has come with restrictions which has meant loss and a lot of time to ‘find’ ourselves and ponder the meaning of life. For many, this will have felt like we are moving backwards and not forwards. Many will have just given up and sat down and let the pain and disappointment of this season envelop them, not daring to move on in case more pain is in their path.
I sat down this morning and reflected on this past year. Month by month, I noted down in my journal places that we had travelled, things we had achieved, losses that I had gained, new beginnings and endings that had happened; and then I sat and prayed. I asked God to show me what He could see. What did I need to learn from in this past year in order to grow and flourish in the next?
Like many people, 2021 has been a hard year. We have had lots of significant changes. My eldest son changed paths, started driving and turned 18. My middle son made a life changing decision to follow his heart. I stopped and started two new jobs that didn’t turn out the way that I had expected. My little girl grew into a young lady overnight.
Even my parenting has moved into a different season. I have been trying to hold onto my children more lightly. Becoming more of an advisor and confidant rather than making all the decisions for them. Letting them make mistakes and watching them learn from them and growing as a result. It has easily been the most costly and most painful stage of parenting, but an important one.
I spent a lot of this past year wondering and worrying about what was next for me. But what I had failed to do was really reflect and pray about the things that I had walked through in the past year. You see, we cannot move from season to season well unless we take the time to self reflect. What have you learnt about you and others? What filled you with joy? What made you want to give up? Moving well means taking time out to ask those questions.
So use these next few days to journal, pray and reflect. What do you want to move into in 2022? What do you want to leave behind? Where do you want to go? How will you get there? And most importantly, what have you learnt in 2021 that will help you move well into the next season.
God is with you in every season of your life, good and bad. He promises that He will never leave you (Matthew Chapter 28 verse 20). Allow Him to comfort and guide you in the days ahead.