Life is a series of hellos and goodbyes, beginnings and endings. That statement has never felt truer than now, as I close out the year 2022 and open the year 2023.

For me, 2022 was a year of both slow and sudden change. A year of bittersweet endings and expected beginnings. A year of traumatic loss and surprising rebirth. Mourning and celebrating. A year of confusion, turmoil, twisted emotions, gut-wracking sobs, anger and frustration, pleading, and broken hearts strewn about like shattered fragments of glass. And yet, there was also blessing. Gratitude. The warm embraces of family and a few friends that carried us to the cross where we lay crumpled in a messy heap of surrender.

My thoughts about this last year spill onto the page in broken sentences much like my broken self. Emotions too overwhelming for words try to leak out of my eyes and down to my typing fingertips. 2022 was simply too much for me.

And yet, I’m still here to welcome 2023.

In my darkest moments last year, I was held by the One who holds the entire universe. When I couldn’t, He could — and did. When my emotions betrayed my faith, and my body couldn’t rest, and my racing mind just simply would not shut up … the Holy Spirit tended to my wounds that human hands and efforts could not reach.

I mourned so very many things last year — loved ones, friendships, dreams, and ideas. I am laying them to rest back there, in 2022. It is time to move forward. Not without them, but with a new understanding of them. Time will reveal the lessons that the hard work of 2022 has taught me. I don’t want the hardships to harden me. For now, I look ahead and welcome new days and new opportunities to experience God’s love and grace, and to share it with others. My mantra for 2023 is simple: keep your heart open. If that resonates with you like it does with me, I hope you’ll join me on this journey.


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