As I review the year, I acknowledge God’s presence. He was with me every step of the way, even when I didn’t feel it.

Secondly, I ask God to show me ways that he showed up, blessed me, made his presence known. It might be helpful to take time and write down what he shows you. Twelve months is a lot of opportunity for God to show up and you don’t want to miss a single one!

The next step can be difficult. If you are like me, I don’t like seeing where I have failed. Failed to respond lovingly or to go the extra mile, failed to support someone or missed an opportunity to forgive or think the best. Transformation cannot happen if I overlook my failures to respond with Christlikeness. Recently, I was watching “The Crown,” a Netflix series based on the British monarchy. At one point, the queen reminded the new prime minister how important it is to accept personal responsibility for things that didn’t go well. That’s what this part is all about.

11I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night—12but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you.

Psalm 139:11-12

23Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

Psalm 139:23-24

Too often, I long for the darkness to hide me, for my failings to be secret. But there is no darkness in my Father so I pray with David, “Search me, know me, test me, lead me!”

As I reviewed the year, the Lord brought to mind a comment I made to a friend. It bothered me almost immediately after I said it, knowing that it was not kind. I wanted to send a quick text and be done with it, but the Lord challenged me to consider my ways. I made the comment face-to-face, wouldn’t apologizing face-to-face be the way to go? I knew it was but resisted for a few days. Today, I made the FaceTime call. I apologized for my unkindness and asked forgiveness from these friends which they quickly granted, releasing me from any distressing feelings I experienced.

Perhaps over the next few days the Lord will bring more to mind. It seems there have been plenty of opportunities for harsh words, judgmental attitudes, criticism, lack of graciousness toward others. There is no end to the way humans can harm one another. My admonition to you… be quick to confess, quicker to ask forgiveness and quickest of all in letting it go. Don’t allow the difficulty of this year to hang on you into the new year!

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