'May God's richest blessings be upon you both today and throughout the
year -- and may those blessings flow through you to touch the lives of
everyone you meet.'
-- Gary Smalley
"Last year was full of way too many changes for me," a friend said to
me last week. "Tough changes, hard changes, sad changes. I don't think I
can handle anymore changes in this new year. If I prayed that nothing
would change over the next 12 months, do you think God would answer my
She laughed before she even finished the question. "Obviously I'm just
kidding, but I do wish I could pray that if anything has to change, that
it would only be a change for the better."
"I'd like that too, but I'm afraid that's not how life works," I
She and I talked about some of the changes of the past year and agreed
that we would undoubtedly face many in the next 12 months.
"I've got an idea, Cindy: How about if one of our New Year's
resolutions is that I will pray for you and you pray for me?" We said a
quick prayer for each other right then, and I know we will do so in the
months to come.
It's interesting to me how many people I have talked to over the past
month about changes of the past year. Besides the obvious September
tragedy that changed us all collectively as a nation, many people have
shared stories of personal change as well. Several of them have hard
times and painful losses in 2001, and are only too quick to move on to a
I've heard about financial disasters, broken relationships and health
challenges. While I shared their sadness, I was impressed with how
quickly each person I talked to brought the subject back to God. After
reflecting on her highs and lows of the past, one friend summed it up
well by saying, "Did I like everything I went through? No, but God was
faithfully with me through it all. He saw me through last year, and he'll
see me though this one too."
I've also been with many friends and family who were eager to talk
about the positive changes of this past year, and I loved sharing in
their joy. Some of the highlights included strengthened marriages, new
grandchildren and upcoming weddings. Again, each person was quick to
thank God for his presence in his or her lives.
I've changed to a new calendar and am already busily writing in many
dates of exciting events and changes that I already know will occur in
the new year. I'm also well aware that there will be changes that I
hadn't planned on happening. That's why I'm going to try to dedicate each
day to God and ask for his guidance before I even get out of bed in the
Since I know life will be filled with changes, I want my life to be
filled with the presence of the God who never changes.
And you can quote me on that.
* CINDY TRANE CHRISTESON is a Newport Beach resident who speaks
frequently to parenting groups. She may be reached via e-mail at o7
firstname.lastname@example.org or through the mail at P.O. Box 6140-No. 505,
Newport Beach, CA 92658.