The end of the year naturally lends itself to reflection. Lists of best albums, movies, TV moments and significant world events are everywhere, reminding us of the triumphs and tragedies of the year that has passed. For some, this year was one for the record books: new life, love, opportunity, beginnings, provision. For others, it couldn’t end fast enough: loss, sickness, layoffs, divorce, disappointment. We’re ready to close this chapter, hopeful that a new year will bring a new storyline.
Regardless of which way the year went, taking time to thoughtfully and honestly reflect on all that has taken place—how we’ve changed, what we’ve learned, where we’ve seen God’s faithfulness despite circumstances—is healthy and helpful.
With that in mind, below are some questions to help you reflect and make peace with the year that’s passed. Read them and pick a few to answer prayerfully. They can be used for personal reflection but might also serve as talking points for spouses, families, friends or Home Groups to work through together.
- What were the most significant things in your life this year? How did they shape you?
- If you could summarize this year in three words, what would they be?
- What was difficult in your life this year and why? Have you been able to see and receive God’s faithfulness?
- What were the triumphs of this year? How did they lead you to worship?
- Who was important in your life this year? What roles did they play?
- What relationships have changed this year? How and why? How has that affected you?
- What relationships are in need of repair? Where do you need to extend or receive forgiveness?
- How strong is your belief in God’s goodness? How has it been challenged and strengthened?
- What losses or disappointments did you suffer this year? How is your life different because of them?
- In what areas did you struggle with sin?
- What did you learn about yourself this year? How are you different?
- What has happened in the world this year? How has your perspective and worldview changed?
- Did you care about and for “the least of these” this year? How?
- How well did you steward your money? Time? Relationships?
- Do you have regrets? What are they? How have you worked to resolve them?
- What and how did you hear from the Lord this year? What did He teach you?
- What fears and/or hopes for the coming year do you need to lay before the Lord?
Over the next few days, set aside time to think back on the year. Ask the Lord to bring specific things to mind—things you need to let go of or repent of, people to thank or encourage. As you reflect, keep the love of God and His promises in clear view. It’s important to look back with gospel lenses securely in place so that you can make peace with the year that’s passed instead of simply rehashing hurts or reliving victories. He knows all of your days and what fills them. Let the certainty of His goodness and Jesus’ return move your heart toward hope and expectation.
Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. -Psalm 90:12