Happy New Year friends! We hope you and your family had a wonderful, meaningful Christmas and New Year’s!
As we enter into the new year, with all the excitement and anticipation (and stress) that this year brings, there are a few things we can do to help us to begin well:
🙏Gratitude: We are looking forward to a new year, but it’s so important to also look back on our past year and thank God for what He has done for us, who He has been for us, and all the good things He has given us. James 1:17 reminds us, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” God has done great things for us all! Write God a thank-you letter for all of these things in 2022. I bet you will be surprised at how much flows from your pen!
🙏Resolutions and Goals: At the beginning of the year, many of us make resolutions. Goals are important for accomplishing things that we have chosen for ourselves, but what could be more important than checking in with God about what He thinks of your upcoming year? There is nothing more life-giving than hearing from the all-knowing, all-powerful God of the entire Universe, who also happens to love you more than you could ever imagine and has good plans specifically designed just for you — “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).
Do you want to get a glimpse of these plans? If you are in Christ, you already have the Holy Spirit within you. Listen to what Jesus Himself says about the Holy Spirit: “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come” (John 16:13).
If you’ve never done anything like this before, first be confident that God will speak to you. He says in Jeremiah 29:13-14a, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you.”
🙏 Here’s how I seek God. Maybe these ideas will help you too!
- Go to a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted.
- Worship God for who He is, and give Him thanks and praise for what He has done for you.
- Ask Him the questions below and simply listen to what He says. Be confident that He will answer.
- Make sure you write down everything you hear and then spend some time responding to Him, telling Him what you want to in your reply and thanking Him for what He just revealed to you.
- Write down your response as well. And take your time! When God speaks, you will want to get every drop of what He is saying and meditate on it for as long as you need.
- You may want to ask one question at a time over a series of sessions or days like I did. I personally asked one question per day, spread out over a week or two. But if you would like, ask them all at once. It’s up to you: as we say in Help Club, you do you!
Here are some questions to get you started in your new year:
🙏What do You have for me in 2023? This is a very open-ended question, on purpose! Be open to whatever God has to tell you. Jeremiah 33:3 declares, “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” What could be more exciting?
🙏Are there any areas in my life where You want to give me freedom this year?
🙏Are there any areas of my heart that still need to be healed? God is the ultimate Healer, and He knows you inside and out. He created your “inmost being” (Psalm 139:13), and He knows things about you that you don’t even know! Hebrews 4:13 says, “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight,” so ask the One who knows best! It’s important to note that when God points something out to you in your life, it will never be condemning or cause shame. It will always be gentle and full of grace, just like He is Himself.
🙏What is my word or theme for this year? What is my verse(s) for this year? This is quite literally a word that will be the theme for your year, like “joy, relentless, peace, victory, etc.” The verse or verses for this year will go along with this word. Make sure you date and highlight them in your Bible for your own records!
I hope that you have an amazing, life-giving time with your Heavenly Father, listening to what is on His heart for you this year and experiencing His love in a personal way. I also hope you have drawn even closer to the One who knows and loves you the most — indeed, the One who “is love” (1 John 4:16). And I pray that you will go forth with great faith, joy, and confidence this year, for “if God is for us, who can be against us?”(Romans 8:31).
Happy New Year, my beloved friend!
Linda Steppenbacher and the Help Club for Moms Team