Activated - - NEWS - By Ju­liana Con­nolly Ju­liana Con­nolly lives in Austin, USA, and is a re­search and pro­duc­tion con­sul­tant for the Fam­ily In­ter­na­tional.

What a crazy year I’ve just been through! In the space of 12 months I left a job I’d had for five years, moved to a new coun­try, went on an emo­tional roller­coaster, spent many sleep­less nights wor­ry­ing, and on it goes…

I’ll ad­mit it was tough at times to live through, but now, with the ben­e­fit of hind­sight, I’m see­ing things some­what dif­fer­ently. It’s true I left a job, but I got a new and bet­ter po­si­tion. Yes, I moved away from my old friends, but I’ve broad­ened my hori­zons and al­ready made many new friends in my new sit­u­a­tion. It’s been an emo­tional roller­coaster for sure, but it’s also been a learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. I might have wor­ried a lot last year, but here I am at the dawn of a new year, safe and sound. The start of a new year has al­ways sym­bol­ized for me a time of re­flec­tion and eval­u­a­tion on the year that’s past, and I’ve learned to cher­ish my year-end anal­y­sis. With the pas­sage of time, per­spec­tives change, big is­sues turn to naught, fears dis­solve, and wounds heal. Per­haps the pithy proverb about “giv­ing time to time” ac­tu­ally has truth to it.

Aside from it lend­ing per­spec­tive to life, I find a sec­ond ma­jor ben­e­fit of look­ing back is iden­ti­fy­ing what I’d like to do dif­fer­ently this year. On this oc­ca­sion, two things stand out:

1) I want to draw closer to God, and I want Him to be the one I turn to when I need help. I want that quiet con­fi­dence I see in peo­ple who have learned the art of de­pend­ing on God. 2) I want to think less about my­self. Too many hours last year were spent wor­ry­ing about me. In­stead, I want to spend some of that time and en­ergy on other peo­ple and things that mat­ter.

I don’t know what this new year will bring. I’m sure it will in­clude sur­prises, joys, sor­rows—and sure, most likely even some sleep­less nights. But if I can im­ple­ment th­ese two goals even just a lit­tle; if in the heat of the most tur­bu­lent mo­ments that this year brings I can man­age to re­mem­ber that my per­spec­tive will most likely change in just a few months; if I can keep God and oth­ers on my mind, no mat­ter where I am or what I’m do­ing, then I know this year will be a suc­cess!

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