We are currently on the threshold of the New Year. It is time to say goodbye to 2020 and hello to 2021. 2020 was the year of COVID-19, stay-at-home orders, economic shut-downs, distance learning and Zoom meetings, racial injustice and activism, and political change. It has challenged us in ways we never imagined, and it is important to recognize what we have been through. We have no idea what will come our way in 2021, but it is important to look forward with hope and have a vision for what we will embrace in the new year.
In the past, I have really benefited from the Hello Goodbye resources from Author Jo Saxton and Pastor Stephanie O'Brien at Lead Stories. I encourage you to check it out and purchase their resource. Below is a summary of the spiritual practice of saying goodbye to this year and hello to the next.
Say Goodbye to 2020
Take an hour or so to reflect on the year, go back through your calendars, journals or social media feed and record what happened in 2020. You may want to make a timeline of the important events. What were the highs and lows, the challenges and delights that came with this extraordinary and difficult year? Take time to mourn the losses, acknowledge the trauma, and feel grateful for the successes and lessons learned in 2020. Say goodbye to 2020 in whatever way seems significant to you--journaling, prayer, list-making, art, a song, a post on social media, a dumpster fire, a celebration.
Say Hello to 2021
Now that you have let go of 2020, spend some time in prayer and ask God for guidance in 2021. We may not have certainty about what will unfold 2021, but we can walk forward in confidence that God is with us (Emmanuel). Is there a word, bible passage, person or activity coming to mind? What might God be asking you to embrace in this next year? Who do you want to become? What do you want to be surrounded by? Write down, what comes to mind and to your heart. Were there any images that come to mind, draw them or describe them. You may choose to make a list of hopes for 2021. I love how Stephanie and Jo ask us to think of these new areas of our life as "experiments we can try" rather than resolutions, and encourages us to focus on sustainability and spiritual health rather than survival and success.
Whats your Word of Phrase for 2021?
Perhaps there is a bible passage, mantra, word or phrase that will be significant to you this coming year, and serve as a prayer in 2021. Write it down and put it in a place you can see regularly, like your bathroom mirror. End your time of reflection by lifting your hopes for 2021 to God.