Dear Ministry Partner,
As the new year approaches in a matter of days, we will bid 2014 goodbye and welcome 2015. Amidst the merry mood accompanying the year-end festivities and atmosphere, we often carry with us the unseen but nonetheless tangible restlessness of unresolved issues from the past year.
Events from 2014 may not have seen closure. Closures are a necessary part of life. They help us to move on to the next stage of life or season. Graduation ceremonies and prom nights mark milestones in a student’s education before the journey to a new phase. Exit interviews in a company bring closure for both employer and employee. For some of us, saying goodbye, though painful, brings closure to relationships that are dear to us.
Although closures are needful, we do not always do them well. We tend to procrastinate and carry with us unsettling thoughts. We have relationships and unfinished conversations that are left hanging. There are situations where we miss the chance for closure due to an untimely and unexpected event. In such circumstances, we are unable to muster the strength or courage to bring closure to the matter. We fear the inevitable hurt that comes with revisiting the painful experience. Our inner defense mechanisms give us every reason not to face our fears. Yet our hearts crave the release that comes with proper closure.
Closures allow us to make peace with our inner self. Through closures, we seek clarity and do what is necessary to move on. We also learn to let go of our attachment to pain, disappointments, hopes, dreams, expectations, and loss, so that we can move on with life. Closures open avenues for healing and reconciliation to take place within ourselves, with people important to us, and with God. When done well, proper closures will lead to the end of pain, removal of gnawing uneasiness, and freedom to be who we are. This is where fresh beginnings start!
2015 is the Jubilee Year of our nation’s independence. The Bible says that the Year of Jubilee calls for a time of celebration, making restitution, and freedom (Leviticus 25). Through closures, we live out these aspects that epitomize the Year of Jubilee.
As we stand on the threshold of a new year, let us step forth with faith and courage. Finish 2014 well by finding the necessary closures, and start 2015 without encumbrances. Ask God for wisdom and courage to have those heart (and sometimes hard) conversations — with yourself, with affected parties, and with God! Do not procrastinate any longer. Closures are necessary for new beginnings!
May God grant us His grace as we obey His prompting to find the necessary closures in our lives.
Wishing you and your loved ones a Blessed New Year in 2015!
Lam Kok Hiang
Photograph by Joey Gannon