My little black dress and the town’s best party have given way to cozy jammies and a movie with my kids on the eve of the new year. The change of scene is a reflection of my stage of life as a mother of young-ish children. But moreso it’s a reflection of the diminishing significance of the flip of the calendar year for me. For truly it is just an arbitrary number assigned to a day that follows the previous and precedes the next.
Culturally, we have learned to assign special meaning to this arbitrary day which allows us to be filled with hope; hope for restoration and renewal and a new beginning. It is wonderful to be overflowing with hope so we celebrate its arrival every year. But when the new year fails us and does not rise to meet us and lift our hopes to reality, we are burdened with a heavy sense of letdown. With only one opportunity a year to be renewed, how could we not be disappointed?
But what if we could be filled with hope every day?
I’ve traded in my little black dress and the desire to celebrate the arrival of hope because I’ve learned it doesn’t depend on the arbitrary flip of a day on the calendar. I’ve experienced that we can be overflowing with hope every day, any day, through our Lord Jesus. I’ve learned that He never constrains us to a particular day but is always ready to provide hope and restoration and renewal and a new beginning. He is always knocking on the door; He’s just waiting for us to let Him in.
But what does it mean to let Him in and receive His hope? It means every day you tell Him your hopes, your failures, your sorrows, your dreams, your triumphs. Every day you ask Him for wisdom and a new perspective and knowledge. Every day you ask Him for hope. And every day you celebrate Him like the breath of fresh air the new year brings. And He, and only He, will rise to meet you and lift your hopes to reality.
So my little black dress is tucked away in the closet until some other completely random and arbitrary day beckons for its adornment. Because I know I can celebrate the arrival of hope any day, every day, and receive the gift of restoration and renewal and a new beginning anytime I call on Him.