Bringing in the New Year

Published 6:00 am Saturday, January 5, 2019

The end of one year and the beginning of a new is a time of reflection for many. We like to remember the good things that have happened in the last twelve months and take time to be thankful. Time speeds by so quickly, it would be easy to forget some of the good things if we didn’t deliberately make ourselves look back over the year in review.

I’m very thankful that my dad went through colon cancer surgery and recovery so well at his age. I’m thankful for family, friends, travel, and opportunities that come unexpectedly. I’m thankful that I can look back across the year and easily recognize how God has ordered my steps along the way.

Even though my own personal future remains somewhat of a mystery to me, I usually have a sense about where our nation is headed in the coming year. I believe 2019 is going to be politically tumultuous, but that won’t be a surprise to anyone. More truth is going to be revealed on each side than they bargained for. I think there will be crop failures and food shortages that are unexpected. Earthquake tremors will increase, and I believe there will be a major event this year in the USA. Tornadoes are on the increase and hurricanes grow more powerful. Those who would destroy our government and its leaders at any cost may set things in motion that can’t be undone.

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As for the world view, it is also dismal with political uprisings, wars and rumors of wars, famines, and disease. Some leaders may over reach what the rest of the world is willing to tolerate and suffer the consequences. World economies are also imbalanced. There are so many things to “dread” in the days ahead that it could steal a person’s peace of mind and suck the joy completely out of daily living.

My goal for 2019 is to live it without fear. There are many situations in my life and in my family that concern me deeply. When friends are going through hard times, I take it to heart and worry about them. Worrying and living fearfully solves absolutely nothing.

Some people say that faith and fear are incompatible, that a person who is fearful has no faith. I disagree. I believe a person of faith maintains their faith, even when fearful situations arise. The Psalmist, David, declares that when he is afraid, he will trust in God. He speaks of fear on several occasions, but asks the question, “If God is on my side, then what can man do to me?” He indicates that when he was afraid, he sought God and in return, God delivered him from all his fears.

Another well-known Bible character, Joshua, admonishes those with him to be strong and of good courage and not be afraid because God is with them wherever they go.

I believe all these things. Fearful situations will arise, but we don’t have to live in a mindset of fear. We don’t have to let fear overshadow or dictate our decisions. We don’t have to be ruled by the power of fear. Most things we fear either never come to pass or there is nothing in our power to do that would prevent them from happening.

It is my goal in 2019 to spend my time and thoughts in better ways than letting fear influence me or prevent me from responding to the challenges and opportunities that come my way in a healthy, happy manner.

I recently experienced a situation where I had such perfect peace, it was amazing. I had absolutely no anxiety, fear, or anticipation of a particular outcome. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God was with me in that situation and was directing my paths, opening and closing doors to lead me into the right place where He wanted me. I resolve to try and find that state of peace throughout the year in 2019.

Reach longtime Enterprise columnist Judith Victoria Hensley at or on Facebook. Check out her blog: One Step Beyond the Door.