3 Questions Ask Yourself as You Reflect on 2019
As Catholics, we get two chances to celebrate a new year. First, there’s the start of a new liturgical year. Then, December 31st rolls around and we get to celebrate again!
But before we launch into a new season of life, it’s important to reflect on all of the ways that the Lord has provided for us. We also should use what we’ve been given, both in answered prayers and unexpected opportunities, to guide what we’re setting our sights on in the future.
Wanting to spend some time in reflection, especially during the loud and busy holiday season?
Grab a pen and a journal or piece of paper, and reflect on these three questions.
Take some real time to sit and go over 2019 in your head and your heart. It’s always been incredible to reflect and realize how much actually happened in 365 days.
What did this time last year look like?
Nothing will make you realize how long a year is like looking back at the same day a year ago. That’s why things like TimeHop and Facebook Memories exist—we love to see where we’ve been and how we’ve changed.
A year ago, you had a dream for where you’d be right now. Do you feel like you accomplished it? What helped you achieve that dream? What got in your way?
When it comes to growth, it’s impossible to plan.
As someone who loves order, I find this frustrating. One of my goals a year ago was to get out of debt by now. I crunched the numbers, I made spreadsheet, I created automatic transfers and withdrawals, I got a second job, and I did research on living debt-free.
I was ready.
What I didn’t account for: my car biting the dust (bad), changing jobs (good), beginning to plan a wedding (great!), or introducing a five year old child into my daily life (great and also expensive!).
Luckily, God knew all of that would happen. And he had a plan much greater than mine.
What prayers did God NOT answer this year?
The date is January 1, 2019. The year is shiny and new, stretched out before you. You long to go into this year with an open mind and heart. So you head to Mass for the Solemnity of Mary, and pray for . . . . what?
Because God is a God who exists outside of time, he has to be a God that doesn’t answer every prayer with “yes.”
I started 2019 at odds with old friends. I prayed that I’d be able to mend fences and start fresh with these people, but throughout the year, I realized that while I was called for forgiveness, I wasn’t called to be back in relationship with these people.
As a result of letting go, we were all able to commit more time to our families. That result was something I didn’t pray for, but ultimately needed more.
What prayers did God answer?
Our God is a God who loves! Reflect on the big ways you leaned on him this year, and how he provided. Be grateful!
Ask God to open your eyes and your heart to the ways his hand was leading you this year.
What’s up next?
In the coming year, what is God asking of you? Maybe it’s something big, that’s been tugging at your heart. Maybe it’s yet to be revealed but your heart is stirring. Or maybe you know, and you’re leaping in heart first.
Wherever you are, remember that God has led you this far and won’t stop now.
In 2020, leap with reckless joy
My stepdaughter-to-be loves to jump off high ledges into her dad’s arms. The higher the hill, pool edge, or playground equipment, the more excited she is.
During our family reunion this past Labor Day, she found a retaining wall that wrapped around her great aunt’s house. At one point in the curve, it was about a five foot drop.
Without hesitation, she perched on the edge and no sooner were my fiance’s hands in the air, ready for her, she was already flying and letting out a screech of delight.
She knows that no matter how high the ledge, her father will be standing there, waiting to catch her in his strong arms.
Free falling doesn’t scare her.
It brings her joy.
May we enter into a new year with the same joyful willingness to abandon our plans and keep falling into the arms of a loving, present God.
Erin is a Catholic writer living on the windy plains of Kansas. She loves reading, dark chocolate, sunflowers, and learning to cook.