It seems that every year around this time many of us are writing down our New Year resolutions. You know the things we did in years past that we no longer want to do in the up coming year or things we want to do better in the up coming year. I have done the same thing in years past, but three years ago I was challenged to do something different.
A few years ago my husband had stepped down from a position at a church and to say the least I was hurt and broken. Looking back now I had been in a difficult season in my life. I was depressed and felt as if the entire world was against me. I literally wore my hurt like a badge. I also felt as if I had no friends or at least no real friends. I felt abandoned. I thought I was alone but I was not God never left me. It was during this time that I realized in order to regain ground I was going to have to run to God with all my might. We started attending a church and little by little God was restoring me not back to where I was but rather to where He wanted me.
That December just a week before the new year the pastor preached a sermon that spoke directly to the part of me that was still hurting and in need of healing. I do not remember the entire sermon but what I do remember was this: “Don’t take the junk you are caring this year into the next.” For the next few days I just could not get that phrase out of my head. So I began to pray and just ask God what I needed to do.
Over the last few days of the year God began to reveal what I needed to do and that was to ask for forgiveness because I have been holding unforgiveness in my heart against some people. I kept hearing the question “Do you want to keep going like you are right now?” I was going to continue into this new year with unforgiveness and still broken. I then sat down at the computer and made a list of those I needed to forgive and I wrote them a letter. I did not bring up what they did or how I was hurt I simply took responsibility for not forgiving. New’s Year’s Eve I put those letters in envelopes and put them in the mail box praying over them and then I released them and told the enemy that he no longer had a hold over me it was done. When I put them into the mail and walked away I felt lighter and better than I had in months. Now please understand in writing those letters it did not excuse what they did or did not do that is not what it was about, it had to do with me not them. God will deal with them but at that moment He, my Father was dealing with me and what I needed to do.
I learned a great deal from this difficult season in my life but what I remember each year around this time is the statement. I have no desire to take any of the junk from this year into next year. So you may ask how is that done.
1. Pray ask God if there is anything in your life that you need to let go of. Things like anger, bitterness, unforgiveness…….
2. Then ask God how He wants you to deal with it. For me it was writing a letter. For you it may be to go to that person.
3. Do what God says to do.
4. Remember you may or may not be received but you have to be obedient to God. I never heard back from the letters however one of those letters restored a friendship with a couple a year later.
I still make a new years resolution list(mainly because I just love a good list), but I also include doing a spiritual check to make sure that I am not taking any extra baggage into the New Year that is not welcome.