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Jan 01, 2024 7627 Sharon Justine
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A New Year like Never Before

Discover the beauty of making the best New Year Resolution this year

As we stand on the cusp of a new year, the air is filled with anticipation, hope, and the promise of a fresh start. For many, this transition symbolizes a chance to leave behind the burdens of the past and embark on a journey of growth and healing. I, too, have walked this path—navigating the complexities of life, finding solace, strength, and joy through the transformative grace of prayer.

Stroke of Midnight

A few years ago, I found myself grappling with the remnants of past pains that seemed to weigh heavily on my heart. The scars of disappointments and losses had etched their marks, leaving me yearning for a fresh start. It was in this introspective moment that I made a resolution—a resolution that would set me on a path toward grace and healing.

As the clock struck midnight, I resolved to dedicate myself to the transformative power of prayer. This resolution was not borne out of a fleeting desire for change but from a deep-seated need to mend the broken pieces of my soul and find the joy that had eluded me for far too long.

In the early days of the new year, the familiar ache of my past pains made the journey of keeping my resolution a challenging one. Distractions and doubts attempted to derail my commitment, but I clung to my faith and determination. Through persistent prayer, I began to experience subtle shifts within me—whispers of grace touching my wounded spirit.

As the months unfolded, the graces poured into my life like a gentle rain, soothing the parched land of my heart. I found the courage to forgive those who had wronged me and understand that forgiveness was a gift I gave myself. It was liberating, a divine grace that released me from the shackles of bitterness, allowing me to embrace love and joy.

Stick to Your Resolution

The path wasn’t without its thorns, but the grace of prayer infused me with the strength and resilience to persevere. I realized that this journey was not merely about sticking to a resolution—it was about embracing a life illuminated by the radiant light of faith.

Consistency in prayer played a pivotal role in my journey of healing and renewal. I often found it challenging to maintain this new habit amidst life’s struggles and distractions. Here are a few tips that helped me stay on track and keep my resolution alive:

  1. Set a Sacred Time: Find a specific time of day that works best for you to pray consistently. It could be in the morning before the day’s chaos begins, during a quiet lunch break, or in the evening to reflect on the day. This dedicated time will help establish a routine.
  2. Create a Sacred Space: Designate a special place for prayer, whether it’s a cozy corner in your home, a church, or a natural spot in the outdoors. Having a dedicated space helps to create a sense of sacredness and peace.
  3. Utilize Prayer Aids: Incorporate prayer aids like a journal, rosary beads, or spiritual books. These tools can enhance your prayer experience and keep you focused, especially when distractions threaten to pull you away.
  4. Seek Accountability: Share your resolution with a trusted friend or family member who can encourage you on your journey and hold you accountable. Having someone to share your progress and struggles with can be a source of motivation.

Through the Storm

Today, as I reflect on that pivotal year and the subsequent ones, I am filled with a profound sense of joy. The pain that once held me captive has transformed into a wellspring of strength, compassion, and a deepened relationship with God. The scars remain, but they are now a testament to the grace that brought me through the storm.

As we stand on the threshold of a new year, I encourage you to embrace the power of prayer in your life. It’s a beacon of hope, a source of comfort, and a lifeline during the darkest of times. Whatever your resolutions may be, may they be steeped in prayer and nourished by faith, knowing that God’s grace will guide you every step of the way.

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Sharon Justine

Sharon Justine is a devoted practicing Catholic and serves at Shalom World. She lives with her family in Bangalore, India.

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