“Last year as the New Year approached, I slipped into the annual spiral of shame I’d fall into after achieving nothing on my resolutions list. I didn’t lose weight. I didn’t take better care of myself. I didn’t spend more time with my family. I didn’t stick to a budget. I didn’t volunteer more. How could I sit down and make a new list of promises when I couldn’t keep the old ones?
“On the way to work the morning of New Year’s Eve, I was feeling defeated and chiding myself for having no willpower or consistency. After I hurried off the train and grabbed my morning coffee, I made my way through the snow toward my office. That’s when I spotted a piece of pink paper fluttering in the wind. Surprised, I reached out my hand and caught it.
“I curiously turned it over to see a slightly damp handwritten note that said: Happy New Year! Make your only resolution to put God first in your heart! Love Him, and everything else will simply fall into place.
“Stunned, I stopped in my tracks. People rushed by and the snow continued to fall, but I stood perfectly still, soaking in the words of a kind stranger. Is it that simple? Is this all I need to have more joy in life?
“That night I went home and made my New Year’s resolution list. In years past, the list had filled multiple pages, but this time I only wrote down one item: I will grow closer to You, Lord, and show You how much I love You! As my heart filled with joy, I was already sure this was a resolution I could keep!”
—Jeanette Bell, 47, New York City