There are two types of people in this world: People who are gung-ho about their New Years resolutions (You all know who I’m talking about - those people who’ve hired a personal trainer, professional organizer, and a financial planner by 12:01am on January 1st) and then there are people who are just… not. I had always been the latter; every single New Year I would find myself going off on a tangent about how “choosing one single day to start a major life change just isn’t logical - it honestly sets you up for failure!” but that all changed last year.

2013 was one of the worst years of my life. With family issues and financial stress at home at an all-time high, as well as my grandmother, uncle and one of best friends all passing away within a few months of each other it’d be an understatement to say I couldn’t wait for the year to finally come to an end. 

Last New Years I was scheduled to work (I wait tables at an Irish Pub in Alpharetta when I’m home from school) and remember thinking it was such a fitting way to end the year. As the clock struck midnight, I poured champagne into some of my regular’s glasses. I remember being overcome with jealousy as I watched them hug, kiss and toast to a new year together. I ran to the supply closet and began to cry. I sat there, reflecting back on the past year and remember being so angry with God; asking Him how He could let all of this happen.

However, it was then that I had an a-ha! moment. At that moment I vowed 2014 would be better. At the time I didn’t even think of it as a “resolution” per say (hence the “non-new years” new years resolution) but I thought of it more as a promise between myself and God that in the coming year I would no longer be the “victim” and I would stop letting my joy come from my circumstance. I decided that I was going to take charge of my own happiness.

Now, this wasn’t always easy… actually if we’re being totally honest it was really hard. I quickly began to notice that I was pouring all of my energy into constantly trying to control situations in my life; I would be happy when things would go well and sad or frustrated when things didn’t turn out the way I had hoped or planned (I’m sure many of you, if not everyone, can relate). There were so many times I would have to take a step back and remind myself that God tells us it is possible to be content in any and every situation. No matter what your circumstances may be, you can find joy in living in His presence. When you make problem-solving secondary to the goal of living close to Christ, you are able to find joy even in the most difficult of days.

I can say with total honestly that 2014 has been a complete 180 for me and my family (I always joke around about how I never want this year to end because nothing will be able to top it!) Life has its inevitable peaks and valleys but they are so much easier to navigate through when you keep in mind that there is always a purpose to our pain, even when it is difficult (let’s be real… impossible) to see.

For me, 2015 brings a whole lot of change and a ton of uncertainly. I’m graduating from college, moving, and starting a job (hopefully!) - just to name a few. However, I do know one thing for certain I am planning on keeping the same “non-new years resolution” new years resolution as last year.