The New Year
© Ferna Lary Mills
It's a New Year. For those who have lost a loved one recently, it's almost impossible to imagine
going into a new year without that loved one. But I pray that your new year holds many
blessings for you in the days and months ahead, and that the deep sorrows you've had to
experience in 2006 will dim as you approach that period of healing and peace.

January 1st is the start of the New Year, and this year President Bush has declared January 2
a National Day of Mourning to honor the memory of our former president, Gerald Ford.
However, I think we should honor the memory of ALL of our loved ones during this day of
mourning.  Whether you honor them with your prayers, or by doing something special by
lighting a candle, placing new flowers, planting a tree, or volunteering in some special way,
spend this day honoring those who are gone and remembering all of those who are grieving
that loss.

The year 2006 was a terrible year for many. For those who lost loved ones this year, it was
probably the worst year of their lives. For those who lost loved ones during the previous years,
it was still a very difficult year. But I pray that 2007 will be a year of blessings for each of you as
well as a year of healing and Peace. Although I know in my heart many more will lose loved
ones during this year as well.

During this National Day of Mourning, say special prayers for all of those who have lost loved
ones, even in your own grief. Pray that God will draw us all close and cover us with His perfect
peace. May all who are grieving feel the prayers we all lift up for one another.

Spend some time contemplating the
newness of this New Year. Although I've never been big on
New Year's resolutions, it is a good time to look at where we are and where we are going.
Although we have each lost someone very dear to us and we are working through grief in our
own ways and with our own timing, we can actively seek out the blessings in this new year.
There is still a reason we are here, because we are here. So spend some time in prayer and let
God show you His purpose for your life.

Be kind. Even when we're hurting, we still have it in us to be kind to others. We never know
when that one small smile we passed to someone will be just what they needed to get through
one more day. Visit with a neighbor, go to church, volunteer somewhere to help someone else,
or just some small something to reach out to others who may need that little bit of extra
encouragement. It will come back to you a hundred-fold.

Use this National Day of Mourning to realize that although your grief may be intense, you are
not the only one mourning the loss of a loved one. There's strength in numbers, sometimes
even just
knowing the numbers. In 2006 alone, there were more than 325,000 visitors to this
website. If each of us were to pray for one another, can you imagine the strength of those
prayers?

May God bless each of you in a very special way during this coming New Year. May it be a
year of healing, and may you find that comfortable relationship with the Lord as He holds you
close and brings you to that place of purest Peace.


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