It’s cool to have a new year and clean slate. There are no mistakes in tomorrow, only those we make today. We look to 2018 with hope and maybe even determination that it will be a better and brighter year than it’s predecessor. And why shouldn’t we hope and dream? After all, there are endless possibilities on the horizon!

Maybe you had a good year

Well then, it should be easy enough to face 2018 with confidence! You’ll do great in the new year, you can feel it! 2017 wasn’t all sunshine and roses, daisies and sunsets, but it was a good year overall. You can have reasonable certainty that 2018 will be as good if not better. Face the new year with joy and spirit! Don’t let that fire die down! Hit the new year head on–challenges and all–, and own it!

Maybe you had a not so good year

For many of us, 2017 hasn’t been what we thought it would. We might’ve started off on the wrong foot, made some bad choices. A lot can happen in a year. Maybe you lost someone close to you; you got fired for a good job; didn’t get into the college you wanted: things happened that changed your plans. It’s okay. 2018 is your fresh start. You get another shot! Will it be perfect? No, of course not. But one thing is certain: you’ve never messed up in 2018, not once. You’ve got it in you to conquer this new year–challenges and all–, or at least go out swinging.

My Year:

A lot has happened since this time last year. I’ve grown. Not physically, (thank God. I’m too tall already), but in all the ways that matter. When this year began I was… immature, (that’s putting it mildly); I always wanted to be on top of the pile, the leaderboard, the argument, whatever it was. If there was something to be the best at, I was determined it would be me. But I changed. God used some unsuspecting people in my life to change the way I think about myself and others. Many of them to this day have no clue that their words or actions influenced me in this way. But that’s the greatness of our God! He uses us even when we don’t feel like we’re out there doing mighty and wondrous things for Him.

The smallest acts by the least likely people changed me in the biggest ways.

2017 was a slug fest, no two ways about it. If I wasn’t getting hammered personally, my family was in some way or other. But God didn’t call us to a life of fear, worry, or doubt. He called us to a victorious life! But what does that entail?

Well, Jesus Christ was the perfect example of a victorious life. Jesus was popular. Jesus was loved, respected, feared, powerful, pure in heart, He had everything we dream of having. Yet He was also mocked, hated, poor, homeless, beaten, chased, slandered in the worst ways, tortured, and killed at a young age. This is the example of a victorious life! Really? Why? Because His life and death brought the greatest glory possible to the Father. That is the standard of victory.

Dear 2018…

You may be a worse year the 2017 ever was. You may chew me up and spit me out, wreck my plans… I’m sure you’ll try your best. What’s waiting in you might not be what I want, what I dreamed, what I planned. But I’m not afraid of you. I’ll wake up every day with smile on my face and a joy in my heart you cannot steal! I have hope, I have Jesus. Though you may take everything I have, all that I love, and even take my life, you can’t take my faith, my hope, or my joy.

The Last Word

This is my final message of 2017, the last words of wisdom I can give you before we all go out to face a new year. Say a prayer tonight before you go to sleep. Let God love the pain of the former things away, and embrace the new year with hope. God is already there, waiting for you.

As always, thanks for reading and Happy New Year.

–the anonymous novelist

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