Unhappy New Year!

Faith Michelle Lindsey January 1, 2015

Unhappy New Year!Happy New Year! 

For some reason, yelling this makes me feel a bit delusional. I feel like I am forcing a square peg. For the most part, people seem quite unhappy and dissatisfied, and probably feel bummed out, but we yell it anyway. Even though you can see the frantic look in everyone’s eyes, we still say it.

Unhappy New Year!

We can’t very well yell that. It sounds so negative. And we can’t admit that we feel unhappy. Because if we say it, it might make it true. So we keep yelling the opposite, and hope that it sticks.  This is the time of year when we shout happiness from the rooftop, and in the same breath we are vowing to change all of the things we are unhappy about. It seems a little bit backwards. If we are all so happy, why do we want to improve ourselves so badly? I feel upset at myself for all of the changes I didn’t make in 2014. And I am pretty sure I will feel that way in 2015.

So actually, hollering Unhappy New year feels a bit more honest. But nobody would come to that party.

Angry New Year!

That is what I might yell off my porch.

I didn’t accomplish one thing on my new year resolution list. I not only didn’t lose weight, I gained. Right before our trip to Hawaii. Perfect timing! Yay! I never did organize the school room. Or finish a manuscript. And I didn’t read the Bible straight through. I think I stopped after Eve bit the apple.

But here I go again. It’s a new year, and a chance to improve myself properly this time. But we have some tough things happening in our family, as I am sure you do too, and it makes it hard to run around all happy and losing weight and checking off goals. I didn’t dress up last night and wave sparklers around. I didn’t leave red-lipstick-kisses on my husband’s cheek. I made a bunch of buffalo-chicken dip, and played Bingo with my family. And I was grateful.

Grateful New Year.

Maybe that is what I should yell.

That is more like it for me. I have a deep sense of thankfulness for how amazing God is, and how far he has brought us, despite our mess-ups. I took a moment to look at each person at the table last night. They were all laughing, and looked beautiful to me. I soaked in the moment because I had so many miserable episodes in 2104. Their faces washed away the bad, and I felt grateful. I paused at each person and thanked God for what He is doing in their lives and asked Him to be near to them in 2015. If there is one thing that drowns out unhappiness, it’s gratefulness. It tips the scale every time. It allows us to hope, and makes it easier to forgive and mend.

“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble.” —Psalm 107: 1-2

Yes, He has redeemed me from trouble. He is where my weary heart finds the strength to change—and also to rest. Above all, I am thankful I have Jesus as my rescuer, not only for the New Year for for always. His mercies are new every morning, thankfully. I’m not convinced that I am supposed to change myself into a better human being in 2015. I don’t have it in me to succeed, I need His hand to lead me. I need his forgiveness to take away the guilt and shame that would otherwise make me quit trying. When I am weak, angry, unhappy, idiotic, He is strong. Long after I burn out, His strength endures. 

For 2015, I do pray you are happy, but most of all, thankful.