When I think about the last year of my life, I can say without hesitation that it was a great year. I had an increase in finances, accomplished some life goals, traveled to Haiti to help orphans and widows, mentored and pastored people through their life-struggles and enjoyed an amazing Caribbean family vacation.

Although I had a great year, I can’t help but think of the people, who I know personally, that faced a year of tragedy – The parents who lost one of their twin babies to SID’s; the woman who suddenly died, leaving behind her husband and seven young children; my friend’s sister who lost her husband to cancer eight years after losing her son; the friend who underwent a double mastectomy due to advanced breast cancer; the mom who watched her little girl battle cancer; the several friends whose husbands left them and many more.

For so many people, this past year wasn’t just a bad year, it was horrific. Many people have gone through things that have changed their lives forever. Many have laid in bed at night, not knowing if they could face another day, wishing the nightmare would end. Some have questioned over and over; “Why me? Do I deserve this? Is this some kind of punishment?”

Maybe you are one of these people.

No matter what last year looked like, a new year gives us the opportunity to move on to the next chapter of our lives. No matter what has happened or how miserable life is, there is a loving God who doesn’t want any of us to live with hurt and pain. 1 Peter 5:7 says “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” Psalm 30:5 also says, “Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning.” Your weeping may have endured last year, but this year can be your year of joy.

All the Lord asks is that you put your hope in Him. When we let go of our pain and put our trust in Him, He is faithful to change our time of mourning into a time of joy.

Isaiah 55:12 says, “So you’ll go out in joy, you’ll be led into a whole and complete life.”

This is my prayer for you this year!