Happy NYE, GT friends and family! We stand at the precipice of a new year. A new year which brings with it the promise and hope of dreams and desires, the excitement of the new, and the understanding that challenges will also present themselves along the way. This is an interesting and a precious place to be. So many of us, myself included, blow right past the last few days in a one year propelled by a longing to leave some things behind and an eagerness to pick up the promise of the new. It’s in this place that I feel the Holy Spirit inviting me to pause, to wait just a minute, to look again.
A few nights ago I was sitting at the dinner table finishing up my last few bites of spaghetti when I asked the Father, “Is there anything you want to say about 2022?” He answered with a vision. I saw Jesus sitting next to me, eating a big plate of spaghetti and glancing over at me from the corner of his eye. He smiled his cheeky smile that he gives me when He’s got something special planned. “Just pay attention to the last few days of this year. Christmas, and the days following. Pay attention, and be present.”
Right. Ok. Not exactly what I thought I might hear, but there was such rest in his voice and such joy in his smile. As I’ve processed this invitation the last few days, one thing has become clear. In the crossing over from one year into the next there are things to release and let go just as much as there are exciting new prospects to pick up. Years are a nice tidy way of us organizing and putting a bow around the experiences of the last 12 months. But within this instruction to pay attention and be present was something more that I needed to hear. It was and is the very real invitation to forgive the past season.
He is inviting us into the powerful act of forgiving the passing and past season. Calendar years are important, yes, but many of us know that God is not deterred by our time tables nor is he limited by them. And for many of you- especially the pioneers and forerunners- you are on the brink of a very new page or stage in life which requires a lightness and readiness in the spirit. This lightness and readiness is most often hindered by one thing, the heaviness of the season past. Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not here telling you to throw out the entirety of your pain by agreeing to no longer reflect or pay attention to the things that have happened to you or within you over the year. What I am doing is reflecting this powerful invitation from the Father to release forgiveness upon the challenges, heartaches, losses and forced shifts that have come to you over the passing season.
I can feel the challenge rising up within me as I write these words, but I can also feel the incredible peace that comes with it. Rest assured, I will not release the lessons I have learned, nor will I put aside the deep, abiding love of the Father that has grown within me over the years. But I will forgive the road for the rocks that have cut my feet and my heart along the way. I’ll forgive the times of being misunderstood, mislabeled, and alone. I won’t forget the pain, but I will release permission to the Healer to hold my questions, the fear, and yes, even the doubt- so I can breathe a little bit deeper, sing a little louder, and laugh a little bit longer. I’ll give the One, whose feet have walked next to mine the entire way, the honor of lightening my load through the promise of His presence. I’ll trust again that He’s with me and when the time is right, He’ll show me what I need to learn about the things that I’ve passed through. I’ll take him up on that invitation to pause, to pay attention, and to be present.
For me, that looks like taking some time to reflect upon the many things I’ve mentioned above. It looks like journaling, crying, painting, or laughing. There’s no limitation here, only invitation into His presence. Here’s to the last few days and moments of 2021, dear friends. AND here’s to the release of forgiveness which brings a lightness for the journey ahead. Cheers and a blessed New Year to each of you!