It’s December 30 as I write this and tomorrow will be the last day of 2022.
Every December radios play “Year End” charts highlighting the most popular and successful songs of the year. Television stations broadcast “Year in Review” episodes, showcasing the top news stories of the year. Websites and magazines display photos of the year’s significant events.
We take stock of what we’ve experienced, what challenges we faced, the successes we achieved, the fires we had to walk through, the memories we made, the victories or failures we had.
Most years I like to take a look over the year that was and take stock of my life – kind of like an annual check-up at the doctor’s office. My calendar shows how I spent my days/weeks: appointments, meetings, dates, get-togethers, vacations, etc. My camera highlights the special occasions and memories: birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, reunions, vacations, and so on. My journals reveal what was going on in my heart and mind: the issues I struggled with, the things I rejoiced over, the worries and burdens I carried, the prayers I prayed, the lessons I learned and the things God showed me.
Usual doing this “check-up” is good. It helps me to evaluate my priorities, decisions and commitments. It helps me with the coming year, to pray through forgiveness and hurts, leaving them in God’s hands so I don’t carry them forward with me anymore. It helps me discern where He wants me and what He wants me to do, to see where I am spiritually, mentally, physically and emotionally.
I started this end of year “check-up” as a young adult. Most years I have enjoyed it but some years have been awful. The trials were so hard, the hurts deep and the losses devastating. What do I do with those? I didn’t want to look back over those years and do my usual review. Instead, all I could do was crawl up on Jesus’ lap and cry.
At this point it’s been a few years since I’ve taken the time or had the emotional oomph to go through the process. After several years with isolation and separation from loved ones, cancer in the family and the loss of three family members I am feeling a desperate need for a “check-up” this year.
Questions are swirling around in my mind:
- Am I healthy spiritually?
- Am I growing closer to God?
- Am I impacting this world for His Kingdom?
- Am I sharing His gospel?
- Am I taking care of His temple, my body?
- Am I taking care of others?
- Am I meeting with other believers or have I given up on them?
- Am I doing what He wants me to do?
So this year I am meeting my Heavenly Father, The Great Physician, for a long overdue check-up. He has been gentle and patient with me as He held me and comforted me when my heart was hurting. I trust Him now to hold my hand and my heart as I take stock and reflect on this past year. Go to Him. He wants to hold yours too.
Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever. – Psalm 73:23-26