I am blessed to have a job that allows me to meet wonderful people. Many days I get to learn someone’s story and lend my assistance in their journey. One year ago I was working with a homeless man who had recently transferred from a mission in the city to a local shelter. He was a job seeker that I would put in the “do more” category. The “do mores” are willing to do what it takes to get a job. They don’t roll their eyes when you tell them they need to change their résumé…they roll up their sleeves. This job seeker came into the career center for a couple of days. I worked alongside him as he made necessary changes to his résumé. I taught him how to navigate various job searching websites, just some of the normal things that we do at work. One day when he came in for assistance he had a photocopied paper for me. He said, “This is for you. Happy New Year.” I thanked him.*
I sat the letter down in my cubicle and avoided reading it for about an hour. It was titled, “Blessings for a New Year”. At that point in my life I was questioning almost everything… It seemed like it took so much work to accomplish anything or get where I needed to be… I knew the direction I was headed but I was exhausted trying to get there.
As I finally read through the page I had no idea how much the blessings would echo through my heart during the next year.
Blessings for a New Year
May you be blessed with sudden insights & inspiration.
May you be graced with quiet moments of simplicity & reflection.
May you be supported by those who love you when you need them.
May you be a source of strength to those around you.
May you receive God’s love, forgiveness, goodness, & mercy.
May your tears be a source of cleansing & healing.
May you read a newspaper & react to injustice- both in mind and deed.
May you pick up a hobby you have always wanted to do.
May you say goodbye to habits & thoughts that have become a burden for you.
May you forgive those who have hurt you, and
May you have the courage to make amends when needed.
May you dream God inspired dreams & see them come to pass.
May you feel healthy-physically, emotionally, & spiritually.
May you be so richly blessed that you bless others with what overflows from your cup.
May the name of Lord Jesus be glorified in you and you in Him!
Praying God’s blessings & goodness overtake you in this glorious New Year!**
According to a blog post on January 3, 2014, I had a renewed hope for miracles, change, and life…by the end of April things had really changed in many unexpected ways…It is almost haunting for me to go back and read my blog post on April 17, 2014. This was posted 3 days before Easter…3 days before the separation…7 months before the divorce was final.
I had written about forgiveness and wiping the slate clean…on Easter Sunday I was reminded that a clean slate does not guarantee an easy start…I thank God for the people He placed in my life to pray me through from fog to clarity.
These are my prayers for you in the New Year…
Father, bless the hands that hold onto ours in prayer, the eyes that look at us through our tears, and the arms that hold us until your Spirit warms our hearts.
Father, give each person reading this right now a renewed sense of purpose in this new year. Give us discernment as we wait, increase our depth of insight as we listen, and hope when we pray. Help us to come alongside others without causing them to stumble.
Help us to tell our story and teach us to listen with intention. Remind us of how great You are when we fail to be humble. Be with us in the moment, help us communicate to others how much they are valued. Show us where our hands can help and our prayers can heal.
Guide us step by step as we mourn with those who mourn and celebrate with those who have found joy. Give us courage to move in action where You lead, and remind us to rest in silence when we should. Show us Your glory as we dare to live with a heart undivided.
In the Holy name of Jesus we ask these things and we pray, help us to believe and live Your words in faith–
“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
“You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
“You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.
“You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.
“You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.
“You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
“You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.
“You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.
“Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.”
Matthew 5: 3-12 (The Message)
As I read through the Blessings for a New Year as shared with me and the words of Jesus as recorded for me and you…I am able to look at my 2014 and say, “yes, yes, yes…These things He did for me.” Hindsight allows us to see where choices lead and where fruit was produced. Resolve to live this next year with intention and hope.
Thank you for journeying with me in 2014. I hold you in my prayers for 2015. May you look back in a year and see how God has blessed you.
*I sheepishly admit now, that it is was a common concern for me that my kindness would be mistaken for romantic interest…so I was often on guard to be cold if someone seemed too friendly—often in human services we are taught to be that way, to protect ourselves from unwelcome advances…now I try to point out where my kindness comes from instead of running away.
**I have seen versions of this online attributed to wise teachers…I’m still looking for one worded exactly the same as this. Let me know if you find it. Truthfully the origin does not matter too much to me, for I’ll always know this blessing as the one given to me by a homeless man with nothing but blessings to give…a wise teacher.