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Today marks the beginning of a new year. A fresh start, new beginnings, better choices... and resolutions. But that doesn’t mean it’s always going to be happy. Sometimes this “fresh start” hits us in the middle of tragedy. January 1, 2007, my family was sitting in intensive care while our 3 year old was on life support as she went through chemo treatments. Now ten years later I am with my sister as she strives to put together the pieces of her life after a fatal accident has left her a widow with 2 boys and another on the way. Through these hardships of life are we expected to just put on our party hats and smile for the new year?

Truth be told- no matter what day of the year it is- life can be difficult. Trials overwhelm us. The New Year is not always a happy one. I Corinthians 15 tells us “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” Our hope needs to come from above, but it also needs to exceed our life on earth. We have hope because our Saviour has conquered the grave. He gives us new life and His promises are eternal. Jesus is not just a fairy tale to make us feel good. He is the true and living God. Not only is he the Creator of everything in heaven and earth- but the giver and sustainer of our very being. He gives us hope and peace and rest beyond our understanding. And when this life comes crashing in from all sides, by His strength we can look past our circumstances to see our Saviour.

So, what do we do when we are overwhelmed by a storm in life? As cliche’ as it might sound, we need to take one step at a time. Do what we know is right. Put your trust in Christ to guide you as He has promised. His Word will be a lamp unto your feet and a light unto your path. His Spirit will be your Comforter and your strength from day to day. His love will give you a song in the night. And if He feels too far away… reach out for Him; he tells us in Acts 17:27 that He is right there. Follow and obey His will each moment as He guides you through this difficult part of your journey.

And the happiness? Yes, we are promised that too. But it might not look like the happiness that you would see on a child’s face when you pull into Chuck-E-Cheese. It may be the deep sense of peace that passes all understanding when our hearts and minds are focused on following Christ no matter what this world throws our way. It is the inner joy that we cannot explain when deep inside we know we are walking through the valley that the Lord has prepared for us. It is the comfort in seeing only one set of footprints in the sand- because we know he is carrying us.

If this new year has come upon you at a time when there is no celebration in your heart, take comfort. Stay close to the Saviour’s side. Lean upon Him. Let Him carry you into this New Year.  



Cynthia D Meador
01/01/2017 7:12pm

Heidi, once again you lift me, you inspire me. I love you. Thank you for going to Tiffany.

Heidi Zander
01/03/2017 12:16pm

Mom, you have always been an example and inspiration to follow Christ and help others.

01/01/2017 7:18pm

So true and so well written!

Heidi Zander
01/03/2017 12:17pm

Thank you. God is truly by our side throughout all of our trials.

Gina Mills
01/09/2017 11:31am

It isn't easy to resolve the difference in my mind between the little 7 yr old girl I first met many years ago to the mature wisdom you have written about here, but I am very proud of you and I know your Mom must be very proud of you as well!

Heidi Zander
01/17/2017 3:05pm

Thank you, Mrs. Mills. It is so nice to hear from you! I am so very thankful for the day your husband knocked on our door and invited us to church. My mom has been a great example to follow as we continue living each day for the Lord! God has been so good to me.


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