When you don't feel like reflecting
It's been over a year since I last posted anything. I wish I could say it's because I finally have a publishing deal and I've been working hard to get my book published. Unfortunately, that isn't the case. The past year or so has been a whirlwind of one thing after another for me and those closest to me. Deaths, births, major illnesses, job changes, new cars, graduations, new friendships/community changes, etc, etc. Usually at this time of year I spend time reflecting on the past year and looking forward to the next. But if I'm honest, I'm not feeling it this year. While there were a lot of good things, this year has probably been one of the hardest in recent memory, and quite frankly, I don't really want to reflect on it. Last year I really enjoyed reflecting on 2017 and was looking forward to all the things 2018 would bring. But nothing happened the way I expected. That's okay but if I'm honest, I don't really want to have a lot of expectations about 2019 for fear I'll just be disappointed again.
As I was thinking this morning about how it felt weird to not really want to reflect on the past year, I had the realization that I'm sure I'm not the only one. I know a lot of people for whom 2018 has been really hard. Maybe you're one of them. I saw this thing on Twitter that was asking people to list their top three accomplishments for the the year and when I saw it, my first thought was "I can only think of one. I survived the year." Maybe that sounds dramatic but it's how I truly felt. Friend, if that's how you feel too I want to be the first to tell that it's okay. It is okay to not have these big reflections on the past year. It's okay if you don't have a list of goals or dreams for 2019. Goals and dreams are great, but sometimes we don't reach our goals, or our dreams don't come true or get put on hold. It's in these times that I remember that God doesn't adhere to my schedule or my timeline or my goals. Yes, God cares about my dreams but He knows what He's doing. But that doesn't mean I'm not still allowed to feel disappointed and sad. God cares about those crushed dreams too. He wants to comfort us.
I'm glad that people use this time of year to reflect on the past and look forward to the future. I think it can be really good. But I also think it's okay if what you most want out of 2019 is a fresh start. If what you are most looking forward to is that 2018 will be over. If you don't want to post your "2018 top nine" pictures on Instagram, or show off your 2018 video on Facebook. It's okay if you want to sit on New year's Eve and just cry thinking about what's been lost over the year. No matter what your feelings are about the past year or the year to come, those feelings are valid. Those feelings don't change the fact that God is in control, but we can't always ignore them. We can't let them control us, but we also can't keep everything bottled up. Just because we know God is in control, it doesn't mean we aren't allowed to grieve, or be disappointed, or even frustrated.
So if this year you aren't feeling like reflecting, don't. And know that you aren't alone.
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Christ-Follower. Writer. Caffeine-addict.