“Let your hopes, not your hurts, shape your future” Robert H. Schuller
Happy New Year everyone! As I write this blog, we are well into 2024 and I truly hope your year is off to a fantastic start! As we welcome a new year, we also must say goodbye to the old year. So how should we describe the previous year we have just come through? What adjectives would seem appropriate? I guess it depends on who you ask. Did we thrive or survive or were we somewhere in between? The answers are often quite diverse.
For some, 2023 brought amazing times, unforgettable moments and more blessings than their hearts could possibly contain. If that is you, congratulations! I am so incredibly happy for you! For others however, 2023 brought heartache, pain and feelings of loss that few can imagine. I fall into the latter category, and I am not a real fan of 2022 either, as my family experienced loss on a whole new level, with the loss of my precious mom. Life is like that sometimes. We can all have such different life experiences. We are all given the same twelve months on the calendar, yet the ways those days roll out are clearly not the same.
My mom was my mentor, prayer partner and best friend. She was such a positive ray of sunshine. No wonder we called her our Sunshine girl and she had more “You are My Sunshine” products in her house than should be allowed! Everyone who knew her loved her and she truly brought light to the darkness wherever she went. Mom had a beautiful way of seeing the bright side in the most stressful and difficult situations. Many times, when tough times came my way, she would say her famous expression: “Don’t lose the victory!” But what does that exactly mean and what can we glean from this clever quote? Let's unpack it a bit.
When hard times come, it is so easy to get caught up in the negativity of it all and accept defeat without even looking and believing for the better. This is especially true if your heartaches and struggles have been lengthy. I hear you. I see you. I am right there with you. I challenge you however, despite the type of 2023 you have had, to still look to 2024 with hope and positive expectations.
Life can be hard, but it is still beautiful. Don't lose the victory. Challenging times can leave us with the most wonderful tools to help others. Hope is what keeps us believing for better times and gives us a reason to get up each morning. If your life is filled with pain and struggle right now, you are not alone. I have been there and walked that road, but I must remind you that don’t you dare for one minute believe this is all there is for you. The rest of your beautiful story is still unwritten. Don't lose the victory or hope.
The Bible says in John 10:10 ~ I have come that they may have life and have it to the full. Life is a journey with many unexpected ups and downs, but we were never meant to just exist. We were meant for so much more. We were meant to be victorious despite what life throws us. In our own strength it can feel impossible. It is difficult to feel and act like a winner at times, but when we partner with the almighty God, all things are truly possible. We can be on the winning side despite what our circumstances tell us.
In my hardest days my mom would say “There are better days ahead.” As cliche as that might sound, I would cling to those words and found them to be true time and time again in my life.
I challenge you, this year no matter what type of things life has brought your way recently, to look to this new year with hope and as a fresh and exciting new season of your life. Look for all the good that life has to offer because the good is still there. As Mom would say "There are better days ahead for you too" and I am truly excited to see what lies ahead for both of us!
Until next time,
Jeremiah 29: 11 ~ For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”
Little Lesson Learned: Bad times do not equal a bad life. Life is still good no matter what may come our way. Don’t lose hope.
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Tags: happy new year, perseverance, mental health, positive attitude, growth mindset, mental health support, goal setting, faith building, encouragement, christian blog
Dana Romualdi is a Canadian elementary teacher, social worker, blogger, author, motivational speaker and recording artist. She has a passion for helping others and spreading much needed encouragement. She lives in Canada with her husband and two grown children. When she is not working or blogging, she enjoys drinking coffee, watching Netflix and reading great books.