Fears of the New Year

Anybody else feeling anxious about the new year?

Before the Christmas decorations come down, the stores are inundated with
calendars and planners to buy before January 1st. Traditionally, the question is “What are your new year resolutions?” My knee-jerk reaction is to cringe when I hear this.

You see, I have deep-rooted struggles with expectations.

Most often, I err on the side of my expectations being WAY too high. I am hard on myself. And so to peer over the ledge of December 31st to the free fall people call 2018 makes my stomach drop.

Not Ready

For the first few days of January, I did not replace my calendars at home. Early Tuesday morning, I saw the boys off to school and settled myself to pray and consider my goals for the new year.

I heard a really great podcast by John Eldredge about “Giving God Your Year”. He shared how it was helpful to ask yourself how you are feeling about the coming year. As I prayed, I found my heart slipping back like a skittish foal, hiding behind its mother.

I knew this feeling.

“The Future” has become a scary place to me. A place where you may suddenly find loss, disappointment, or the unexpected. As I identified this struggle once again, my heart just didn’t seem ready.

“It’s okay.” I told my heart. “We don’t have to do this now.”

One area I have been growing in lately is allowing myself the room to figure things out when something in my heart isn’t right. So, I took my old planner and set it open on the table. I would come back to it when I was ready.

Help to Hope Again

As a few days passed, I would notice my planner and turn to my heart to see how I was feeling. Gradually the anxiety settled. By Friday night, I had an idea that nudged at my heart like a filly looking for a carrot.

We were out for dinner, and I had noticed weeks earlier these glittery new planners they had at Target.

“Could we stop by Target on the way home so I can look at their new planners?”

“Of course!” my husband replied.

Fingering through them later, I found a pretty, gold-rimmed one with a trendy pattern on the front. I don’t know if it’s me or the fact that I’m a writer, but there’s just something enticing about a fresh notebook with clean lines or a planner with new calendars. It’s just waiting to be filled with all sorts of things.

As I held this fresh new planner in my arms and took a deep *sigh*, I allowed my heart to hope again and wonder if this new year was going to be a good one.

Not So Scared

I could hardly wait until the next morning to sit down with the new planner. In prayer, I brought my heart out to meet the One who made this new year. My anxiety dissolved into appreciation. I was comforted and encouraged. I realized I didn’t have to figure it all out. I just had to reach out for the hand of my Father who would lead me through. Just like He has every year before.

Okay, 2018. Let’s do this.


What do you think? Have you found this transition into a new year difficult? Have advice to help others?

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