by Meredith Mohr

The words are written on a colorful piece of paper stuck to my bathroom mirror, where I read them every day.

“It is God to whom and with whom we travel, and while He is the end of our journey, He is also at every stopping place.”

These are wise words by Elisabeth Elliot—a missionary, a firm but gentle teacher, a true Jesus woman, and after I’ve read and re-read her books, a real friend.

With an old year quietly falling in line behind a new year, it’s a habit to drift towards thoughts of how this year might be lived better than the last. At the end of the year, it’s only natural to think back on all the “stopping places.” Since college, I’ve kept all of my paper calendars, because when I go back and read them, they remind me of a story that God is slowly telling—of all the ways of His faithfulness and goodness to me.

So when I think about the new year and all the new things it will hold: new jobs, new adventures yet lived, new goals, some old goals that didn’t quite get finished, all the new stopping places, it’s easy to forget all the lessons of the previous year.

But I don’t want to forget what this year, this month, this moment in my life has taught me about who God is or what He is doing with me in the thrill of the moment of starting over. Yes, a new year is a fresh start. I’m so grateful His mercies are new every morning. But in the dark of the night and the hard work of the day, his mercy and grace were still there. He’s never left.

I don’t know what tomorrow holds. If yesterday was a triumph or a failure, the emotions of the day probably still remain. Some days are mountaintops and some days are valleys.

What 2017 may hold for me, I can’t say. But what God will require of me this year—I want to be ready for that. It won’t be any surprise to me when He asks me to be brave and to trust Him and to expect Him to show up. I won’t hesitate when He tells me to love people fiercely and pursue godliness, humility, and obedience, and to act justly and love mercy. And the other thing required of me? To believe. To believe that He is God and that He is still telling a story—a true story—of how He is good and true and kind and worth believing in.

It’s a new year and there will undoubtedly be many unknown stopping places on this journey. But what doesn’t feel unknown is who holds yesterday, today and tomorrow. Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.