It is the one moment all year that we pause. The countdown has finished, and the sky is black. People crowd together in huddles, holding their breath as they wait for what comes next.
Then suddenly the sky is filled with colour.
One after another, the fireworks cover the skyline, chasing away the darkness with their noise and light.
One. Two. Three. Four.
They begin to overlap one another, and soon there are too many fireworks to count.
It is the dawn of a new beginning. And when we finally fall asleep in the early hours, the memories of fireworks still play out in our heads.
Could this be our chance to start again?
Say it with me again, even when you thought last year proved you wrong.
Yes. We will start again.
When you see the fireworks, I hope you remember that light always overcomes the darkness.
I hope you know that the black space of fear can be consumed in a moment by a glimmer of colour and hope.
I hope you feel alive again, filled with the certainty that you are worthy of another New Year; another fresh beginning, another reason to stay.
The pain of this year isn’t yours to hold anymore. What spilled over from 2016 and overflowed into every part of your life has ceased.
This New Year is a beautifully empty vessel, ready for you to fill with new hopes and new dreams. It is yours to claim with courage, so you can pick up what has fallen to the ground and piece it together again.
The fireworks are new relationships and an open heart. They are a healing balm over the brokenness in your soul, and a tattoo that makes your scars beautiful.
The short bursts of colour are the remnants of your courage, which you forget still existed within you. They come now, slowly then all at once, reminding you that you have the strength to take the next step. To wake up in the morning and believe for better things.
The patterns that fall across the stars are the promise of sobriety. Of the strength to say goodbye, and the freedom to forgive those who have held you back.
The darkness is receding in front of you, and make no mistake, this is not happening in spite of you—this is because of you.
You are worthy of every good thing.
Of every sunrise and sunset.
Of new friends and old friends.
Of love and plans for the years ahead.
Of healed wounds and mended hearts.
Of the courage to fight for what is right.
Of a meal eaten without the fear of your body rebelling against you.
Of a plane ticket to your favourite place in the world.
Of a place to sit and talk without judgement.
Of the words you never said and heaven has been waiting to hear.
You are worthy.
If you are alone, let these promises be your company and remember them as the sky clears. You are infinitely loveable, and this year is your promise of community.
If you are afraid, let these words give you strength to take 2018 one day at a time.
And if you need something to change, but you don’t know what, or how or why—know that the fireworks are the starting flag on a race you will surely run with purpose and passion.
See the fireworks and welcome the New Year like a long-lost friend left out in the cold.
You made it home. And now you are free to start again.
Remember this when you see the fireworks.