“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30 (ESV)

New year, new you…we’ve all heard that saying before. It seems to be January’s slogan each year, but enveloped in that catchy phrase is an enormous expectation and for some that can be stifling and even paralyzing.

For many people, the new year holds both promise and pressure.

Perhaps the holidays were hard for you and left you feeling raw and disoriented.

Maybe the new year seems daunting because you barely survived the last, and you feel weak, drained and utterly exhausted.

I can relate because January is often a bleak month for me too.

Though many would say that overshadowing the gray winter skies with lists of resolutions and vision boards is optimistic, I think we are missing an opportunity to sit in those gray-blue moments of heaviness and seek the Lord’s face.

So, how should we begin a new year?

Please don’t misunderstand, setting goals and entering the year with optimism is valuable, but we have to recognize that not everyone is in a position or frame of mind to do so.

I’ve tried to sit down and list out goals for 2020, but the reality is that lately, I’ve found myself simply praying that I will make it through the next hour because my troubles and heartaches didn’t go away at the stroke of midnight.

Many of us are fighting battles that are beyond the limits of time, and all the vision boards in the world won’t bring us the peace that is ours to receive by sitting with our struggle in the presence of our Heavenly Father.

Much like weary travelers looking for a warm hearth, many are searching for a soft place to land after 2019, and we have an open invitation into God’s presence wherein we will find rest.

For me, January isn’t a time for reinventing myself. Instead, it is a month of recovery and a time to seek the Lord and discover His plans for the year ahead. Instead of ignoring your struggle by reinventing yourself with lists of goals and resolutions, I would encourage you to lean in and worship your way through the struggle in your life.

Let 2020 be a year of honesty and authenticity by first allowing January to be a month of reflection. Take time to rest and recover from the year gone by before listing out your expectations for the year to come.

Better still?

Take this first month to rest and be still before the Lord and allow Him to lead your vision for 2020. To me, that sounds like the best resolution any of us could ever choose for a new year.

Meet… Whitney Luckhart!

Whitney is part of the Stuart Heights Family at the Soddy Daisy Campus. She is a young professional, guiding the next generation by teaching high school students. She fills her days by finding joy in photography, writing and baking.