Viewpoint from Jane Walters 31/12/2021
Jane Walters, formerly Clamp, is the author of Too Soon, a mother’s journey through miscarriage (SPCK) and a regular contributor to Premier Radio and UCB. She is also vice-chair of the Association of Christian Writers. Jane leads creative writing retreats and is a popular speaker locally and further afield
God of the second chance
By the time you’re reading this, I will have returned from my Christmas break down on the south coast. It was a rerun of last year’s plans – to spend Christmas with my mum for the first time in many years – which were scuppered by Tier 4 restrictions. Back in 2020, we’d shed our tears and made the most of it, but we were both grateful to have a second chance this year
We stand on the edge of 2022, its path as yet unseen and untrodden. There’s a sense of a fresh start, of new opportunities, even though there’s uncertainty over what lies ahead. Before we launch ourselves headlong into those new things, though, let’s take a moment to reflect on what is past. I can recall the relief of previous New Year’s Eves that a difficult year is finally over, only to discover that I’ve not properly let go and I’ve ended up dragging old burdens with me, like wearing a ton-weight on my back. The spring in my step that bounces me through the start of January soon wanes. It’s a pattern I’d rather not repeat
If this resonates with you, how about joining me in doing a little checklist? Find time over the next day or so to sit down quietly and consider the following questions:
What are the positives of 2021? What have I achieved? Have I properly celebrated those wins? Are there things I can take forward into 2022 on the back of those successes?
What are the negatives?
Is there anyone I fell out with during 2021? Have I apologised for my part in it? Have I forgiven them for what they said and did, regardless of whether they’ve said sorry?
What mistakes have I made? (Don’t get bogged down in detail, or you’ll be there a long time! Consider instead categories: I’ve tended to do this or say that). Is there anything I can put right?
What have I learned in 2021, about myself and my world?
What can I resolve to do differently for my sake and the sake of those around me?
Having a second chance at life takes more than self-motivation and willpower. As a Christian, I have found that only Jesus can fully cancel my past mistakes. He offers strength within my weakness, hope for my present and future. I’m going through 2022 with Him. Will you?
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