To me, the new year brings new hope. While it comes every year, and realistically January 1 is indeed ‘just another day,’ there is just something about the new year. In the new year, it’s always good to set aside some time to reflect on where you’re at, where you’re headed, and where you desire to go.
I have been plagued by depression for the past three years and, while I thought it would be a quickly passing season, I realize it is an ongoing battle, a part of my story. I make the often-difficult daily choice to keep having hope. It’s been ups and downs, reaching places of defeat and discouragement, but with that there has also been lots of healing and breakthrough. I didn’t realize my need for healing until I reached a place of absolute despair. Before the months of COVID isolation in 2020, my life had been on autopilot, and I didn’t realize how many aspects of my life were operating in a superficial way, and just waiting to fall apart, until I was forced into isolation for eight months. I know I am not alone in that experience.
Going into 2023, I have an awareness that God is still at work in my healing process. I am so glad He is faithful and never gives up on me! I still have my days where depression fogs my outlook and I question having purpose in this life, but I fight off those days by recalling God’s faithfulness and trusting that if I am here, there is purpose in it, both for this life and in preparation for eternity with Him. I choose to continue having hope and to keep trusting God’s way and God’s timing.
I have started to see the blessing of the place I reached, and the place I reached was far from anywhere anyone would desire to reach. It was not a blessing in the moment, quite the opposite, but looking back, I feel blessed that as a result of reaching that rock-bottom place, I have an opportunity to live and experience this life with purpose. While I’m not in the place I want to be yet, I am not where I was and I have a hope I didn’t have before. I feel blessed that I have an opportunity to live my life with intention and to not let it get back on that superficial go with the flow track. I don’t ever want my life to look like that again. I trust that God has a plan and a purpose in everything and I hold on to the hope that everything I have struggled through these past three years is part of my healing process and that the end result will be so worth it!
If you are currently in a place of discouragement, I want to encourage you in this new year; what you are feeling right now will not be wasted and a breakthrough is coming. You have to continue to be willing to keep moving forward and be willing to do whatever hard work you have to put in. Keep at it! Whatever honest conversations you need to have, whatever appointments you need to make, be bold and be brave. I know how hard it is and I encourage you; keep pressing on!
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 hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)
He has made everything beautiful in its time. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. (Psalm 27:13-14)
All scriptures from Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 or New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson