God opens doors in the hope that we will enter them.

There is a sense of new beginnings, rekindled hope, and a clean slate with the arrival of the New Year. But what happens when we turn around and realize our pain and hurt aren’t as far away as we thought, and that they’ve followed us into yet another new year?

It’s not easy if you find yourself in this situation, and I know you’re most likely saying to yourself that you’d rather be “anywhere but here.” Begin the New Year by telling God about your hopes, dreams, fears, and weaknesses. What do you hope to accomplish? What do you hope to avoid?

Keep a journal.

I remember a time in my life when I physically handed my pen to the opposite side of where I was and said to God, “Okay, God. Here’s my pen. You are the author of my story now. Besides, I’ve heard that You write far better stories than anyone ever could anyway.”

Since then, I haven’t looked back.

I make it a point to record highlights that happen to me which I find meaningful; the good, the bad, and the simply awful. I also begin to see patterns in my behaviors. Some interesting and surprising, some appalling and downright cringe worthy. If you do this, you can see how God works in your life; the things you know He is pleased to see you do, as well as the things where you just know He looks at you (lovingly) but has to ask, “Really?”

When I don’t see a bright future ahead of me or don’t know what to do in a certain  situation, the experiences God has given me to write about help me remember what He has done for me in the past and how He made a way.

Do not believe that a bad situation will last forever.

Never doubt God’s ability to deliver you from a difficult situation. He has the ability to change your situation in one day – even in one second.

When the adversary begins to sing his age-old siren song in your ear about how God doesn’t really care about you, or worse, that God isn’t powerful enough to transform your circumstance, strike him with the Sword of Truth:

"No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly." - Psalm 84:11

Keep in mind that walking the Christian path requires effort, stamina, and endurance. But if you let God do what He does best, every trial you go through WILL result in a blessing.

"I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born." - Isaiah 66:9

You can learn from your mistakes. Remember that the Spirit works within you, and that He who is within you is greater than he who is in the world.

God, thank You for new beginnings. Help me to remember that when I mess up You still love me and that You will never stop making me new.

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