There is something about New Year’s Eve that is magical. Girls dressed up in glittery dresses and strappy sandals. Grown men wearing sparkly headbands and drinking fruity cocktails. Music, lights, glow sticks and swaying crowds. It’s loud and chaotic and makes me feel like a child again, desperately clinging onto my dad’s hand for dear life.
But there is a hush that rises as midnight descends upon us. A split second before fireworks blaze and light up the sky. You aren’t aware of it, but it’s there all the same.
As the clock strikes 12, there in the blackness of the night is a beautiful exchange. The old for the new. Our worn out, creased, threadbare 2017 for a shiny, unblemished 2018.
We stand in awe of what we see before us, bursts of colourful light and pops of sparkling firecrackers but what always slips our attention is the freshness of the new day, the new year we’ve just entered into.
It’s a day that starts like any other, darkness turns to dawn. The inky black is replaced by a syrupy, golden glow. But this day holds even more abundant grace because it is the beginning of a new year.
There is hope, promise and expectation that this year will be different. This year, WE will be different.
That’s the reason behind all the glitter, laser lights and confetti. That’s why we beat our way through mobs of people and drive in endless circles to find parking spots. Because this night marks a turning point, something monumental that must be celebrated with singing and marked with booming sparks in the sky.
On New Year’s Eve we get a second chance. A clean slate.
No matter how many sorrys were spoken, goodbyes were said or mistakes were made, 2017 is over and we no longer have to live in it’s shadow.
It’s an incredible privilege to stumble upon a fresh start and we just so happen to find ourselves stepping into one right now.
You could use this time to grumble over what you don’t have or whine about what went wrong before. You could make a list of resolutions that you promise that you’ll keep even though we both know you won’t. But to me that feels like a waste of fresh start.
You’ve got a blank page before you and every decision you make from now on will determine what your picture looks like at the end of this year.
It is your choice how your 2018 turns out. Because yes there will be surprises, some good, some bad, but it is you who decides how you paint the picture.
So I guess this is a call to start living with intention. To see each day as a blessing. To take nothing for granted but instead be overwhelmed with gratitude.
Because 2018 is our year. It’s the year of us.
It’s the year we will face our fears, we will grow in leaps and bounds, we will exceed others expectations and we will make our mark on this world.
As you step into this new year, you get to leave behind all that heavy baggage that’s weighing you down. No more shame, anger, doubt or loneliness. Goodbye anxiety, rejection, grief and fear. There is no room for self loathing, pride or bitterness.
2018 you is brave, determined, honest, bright and full of hope. That’s the truth you need to keep reminding yourself of.
Everyday when I wake up I tell myself that I am no longer a slave to fear. I am no longer bound by anxiety over my future. I’m a child of God. Fear has no place here.
Whatever it is that haunts you in the early hours of the morning, it doesn’t have power over you anymore. Not in 2018.
And that, is something worth celebrating.
I don’t know about you, but when the confetti starts falling and the people start cheering, my heart will be swelling with gratitude and praise.
Thank you God for this new year. Thank you for never giving up on me. Thank you for taking my old, shabby heart and making it twinkly and new.
I used to think that we only celebrated the resurrection at Easter but now I know every day is a disorderly resurrection with God. His mercies are new every morning. His grace is plentiful, enough for today, tomorrow and every day after that.
When the countdown starts this New Years Eve, amidst the swelling beat and bobbing crowd, take a second to appreciate this precious moment you’ve been given.
2017 and all of it’s tears, trials and failings are behind you. Gone. Forever. And in its place you have a fresh start, a new year.
Let’s make 2018 the year of us.