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Embarking on any new beginning naturally calls to mind the past you’re leaving behind, the present you’re embracing, and the future to which this new path may lead. The tricky part is making sure all three perceptions of reality are kept in their proper perspective. This New Year, let the Lord take the lead.

SAY GOODBYE TO THE PAST

“Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” ~Psalm 30:5

Though a New Year is here, whatever pain and suffering you endured in 2013 may be still lingering in the back of your mind or the depths of your heart. Allow the New Year to serve its purpose — a new dawn, a new day, a new way.

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.” ~Isaiah 43:18

As you choose to embrace the promise and possibility of a New Year, the past will likely creep into your consciousness now and then. Acknowledge the thought, but in the same breath, let it go. The past is just that; don’t let it hold you back.

“The new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” ~2 Corinthians 5:17

Dwelling on the past an exercise in futility. Certainly, there is a time and purpose for acknowledging the pain of the past, but your grief, regret, or shame is not intended to last. The past is over and the present is here. By all means, embrace it.

EMBRACE THE PRESENT

“Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.” ~Isaiah 40:31

If the prospect of living in the moment frightens you, take comfort in knowing you can, and should, turn your fear over to the Lord. He knows your weaknesses better than you do and, in turn, how best to strengthen you.

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you.” ~Ezekiel 36:26

Should this day, or any other, be filled with a darkness that feels too heavy to lift, trust in the Lord to do the heavy lifting for you. No darkness is any match for His light.

“Sing to the Lord a new song.” ~Psalm 96:1

What a remarkable gift it is that you can begin again — not only with the introduction of a New Year, but with the introduction of every new day. Give this new beginning every opportunity for success. Express to the Lord your renewed hopes and gratitude.

TRUST IN THE FUTURE

“May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.” ~Psalm 20:4

Whether you have a specific New Year’s resolution or just a general focus on healthier living, the Lord is listening. So take the time to dig deep for what it is you really want to accomplish this year. The closer to your deepest truth you can get, the more naturally your plans will unfold.

“In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” ~Proverbs 16:9

There’s a difference between knowing what you want, and knowing how to get there. The Lord knows both. By all means, stay focused on your goals, but trust in God, even (and especially) when His plan doesn’t seem to be meshing with yours.

“In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” ~Proverbs 3:6

As fresh and clean as a New Year may seem, it will inevitably include forks in the road to challenge you. When you are not sure whether to veer this way or that, ask the Lord for guidance and you will surely choose the right path.

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