It's New Year's Eve, a time that often brings a review of the last year to mind. It's a helpful practice to pause and consider what has happened along our journey in this year that is ending to help us plan for the year that is about to start.
One thing I've noticed about this review process is that it is very easy for us to look back and see all the places that life dealt out brokenness in the last year. Those moments when our hearts got broken, our dreams were shattered, or our lives were battered by life are easy to see. These things happen in an instant and leave our lives forever changed.
What is often overlooked are the ways those broken places have healed over the last year. Healing is a slow process that is hard to measure and seldom follows a linear pathway. It's much harder to distinguish a precise moment when an open wound becomes sufficiently healed so as to become a kintsugi scar.
And yet, for all the challenges of precisely identifying healing as it is happening, when we look back over a period as long as a year, we can more easily identify the ways in which that healing has indeed taken place.
Wounds that were once painful and reactive may have become healed scars that are no longer aggravated by every touch. Broken hearts may have become whole again, no longer aching with every breath. Shattered dreams may well have given way to new dreams that engage and excite us.
Taking the time to look back and find those threads of healing that have appeared over the last year, even if the healing is still a work in progress, can create the space to make sure we also find the gold in that healing.
As you consider the healing that you see in your life over the last year, ask yourself questions like:
How has the process of healing changed me?
What gifts have I gained through the healing process that will allow me to be a stronger healing presence in my world?
How can I make better use of the gifts that healing has brought to my life?
Finding the gold in the healing that has happened does not mean that we should be glad that the original brokenness happened or that it was good that we were wounded. We can value the healing while still reviling the damage that made it necessary.
Nevertheless, healing is always a gift of grace that we can treasure, no matter how much hard work we had to put into making space for that healing to happen. It's worth taking the time to mine your year for that treasure so you can consciously make use of those gifts as you move forward.
I wish you many such gifts of grace as you review your year that is ending, and may your coming year bring even more healing (and much less brokenness).
Happy New Year!