For You Who Need Hope For This Year

In Advice and Encouragement, Relationships by Debra Fileta15 Comments

For me personally, 2016 was a brutal year.

When I look back on the past 12 months, I can far too quickly recall moments of severe pain, overwhelming stress, plentiful tears, and many, many losses. It was a year that took a toll on me physically,  took a toll on me emotionally, and took a toll on me spiritually.

Maybe you can relate. It could be that as you think back on 2016, it was a hard year for you, too. With so much going on in our lives, not to mention, in the world around us, I know I can’t be the only one who was ready to say good riddance to 2016.

But, friend, 2016 has come and gone. And we have survived it.  We may have been through some really hard things, but we have come out even stronger.

For me, through the hardships of 2016, God’s steady hand was so clear. He was the rock that I clung to, in the midst of some really dark times. He brought joy even in the most unexpected places. And through the pressure of 2016, my faith has reached levels I never imagined it could. And for that, I’m so very thankful.

Still….I’m ready to say goodbye to 2016. And see what God has in store for this new year. Maybe you are too.

At the start of every year I ask the Lord to give me a word to hold on to for that year. Ironically, 2016 came with the word HOPE. God knew I would need to cling to His promises of hope that year! But this year, the Lord gave me a new word:


This is the year of restoration, and I am holding firmly to that promise!! In the book of Joel, God’s people had just been through some really hard times. And in Joel Chapter 2 the Lord promises them that this would be a time of restoration.

“I will restore to you the years that the locusts have eaten….”

Friends, I am HOLDING on to that promise in my life, and maybe God is calling you to claim it for yourself! This is the year of restoration.

Restoration of your marriage.

Restoration of those dreams you’ve let fall to the wayside.

Restoration of healing in your body.

Restoration of joy from your depression.

Restoration of hope through your hopelessness.

Restoration of laughter where there have been tears.

Restoration of trust in your broken heart.

Restoration of courage in your discouragement.

Restoration to believe, when you’ve doubted for so long.

The is the year that God will take all of the hardships that flooded your life in 2016, and use them for your good. It’s a promise. 

It’s time to pick up the pieces of 2016, and use them to build an altar of faith for this new year. Faith that God is who He says He is. Faith that He can be trusted. And faith that He will restore all things….and that there WILL BE A day, when all wrongs will be made right again.

Friend, I am believing that this is the year of restoration. Will you believe with me? 

Comment below: What are you hoping to see restored in 2017?

Debra Fileta is a Professional Counselor, speaker, and author of True Love Dates: Your Indispensable Guide to Finding the Love of Your Life21 Days to Jump Start Your Love Life, and 21 Days to Pray For Your Love Life – where she writes candidly about dating, relationships, and how to find true love. You may also recognize her voice from her 150+ articles at Relevant Magazine or! She’s also the creator of this True Love Dates Blog!  Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter or book a session with her today!

“Your love life needs this book!”

– Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott, NYTimes Bestselling Authors and Psychologists

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  1. Hope restored is definitely on my radar. I have a pretty bleak outlook on this year because I’ve had so many disappointed expectations I’m tempted to give up hoping for anything better. But my word for this year is “see”, and right now I’m thinking of that verse that says “I would’ve lost hope if I didn’t believe I would see the goodness of God in the land of the living”. I guess that in believing God’s goodness and love for me will give birth to new hope, and will allow me to see that goodness in more and unexpected ways.

    Hehe, I think I’m working out my own issues here after reading and processing this post. Thankyou for sharing it!

  2. Restoration is an ongoing process. It is Christ filling the broken places in my heart. But, how much can be restored. My former husband (divorced 35 years) has waltzed back into not only my life, but our children’s lives. He says that he wants to restore our family. I think back at all the things that he did to cause our broken home and say, “you’ve got to be kidding me”. He says he has changed. When he prayed over the food at my daughter’s house at Christmas, he addressed my Savior as, “Big Guy”. I wanted to trust him and he does still have that “wow” factor to him even at 59. I still see the boy I fell in love with. Is that enough. I need older people who know what I’m talking about to gain wisdom from. No offense, but you are so young. Do you know of anywhere that I can turn?

    1. Author

      Brenda, I know from my personal experience – restoration does not mean that everything that has been lost will be returned – because in most cases, that’s not possible. I like to see restoration as a process of “rebuilding”. Like you said, much of it is in Christ filling the broken places, and us receiving that in our lives.

      As a professional counselor, I think the restoration of a marriage takes time and an enormous amount of work. It’s not something that can simply be “put back together”. In your situation, I wouldn’t rush anything. There needs to be a significant amount of time passed to allow God to reveal to you the kind of person your husband is. Trust isn’t something that’s just “given away”, it’s something that has to be earned along the way.

      PS. Thanks for calling me “young”, I’ll take it as a compliment – three kids later and a decade into marriage, I’ll take it for sure! lol. 😉

    2. Author

      Also, consider joining a “divorce care” group at a local church. They offer plenty of wisdom along the way of healing after divorce.

  3. I have so many prayers that have seemingly gone unanswered over the years. It’s hard to keep hoping that these prayers will be answered. Each year, I, like you, ask the Lord to give me a word for the year. This year the Lord revealed the word Victory to me. I hope that He allows me to be (and feel) victorious in all of my circumstances.

    I am praying that my dreams be restored. I’ve almost given up hope on a number of them. But, He keeps placing people, circumstances and devotionals along the path to show that He hasn’t forgotten about me. Thank you for this post as it has been very encouraging!

  4. Hallelujah! I’m there! Mama you’re talking about God bringing about all-round restoration for me this year! Praise God.

  5. Hi Debra!

    Thank you for this. I love that word…restoration. It can me so much in so many ways. I am excited to see what 2017 has to hold. I have faith that my God will guide me through and direct my path. I am praying for great things to happen. I wish you all the best this year!

  6. 2017 is my year of restoration from depression and self-doubt. I believe this year would also see restoration of laughter where there has been tears for my first true love.

  7. Thank you for your word of wisdom. Like you 2016 was a brutal year for me and the pain is still ongoing and I can’t seem to stop crying. Please pray for me that He sees me through this year. Amen.

  8. As a man with a deep well of love and always have had I have never been so wary of becoming involved with women again.Most of my relationships I have found myself being abandoned.I left 2 women when younger because they were either drinkers or worse yet I found some up to no good behavior with men coming and going from their homes and packets of money and more signs,I’ll stop at that for now and spare you the nasty description. I feel awful saying that but that is how it appeared.Feel free to edit that.

    I feel so dismayed in women today, I admire intelligent women and find them very attractive however seems feminism has destroyed that principle of being a lady.Why do women today find that repulsive and take on very aggressive roles and never let their caring sensitive sides show.
    I am happy being single for the past year and no adjusted to it as I work on myself and I have never grown so much in my life which is a great thing. Some time in the not too far off future though I wonder if my quest for a lovely ‘lady’ will ever materialize in meeting her…..

  9. Restoration is exactly what I need. I was working through a lot of personal issues & making progress when I met a guy that I seemed to click with straight away. I thought he understood me & I felt validated. When we met he was still going through a divorce, 4 children, only just come back to church after engaging in some very non- Christian behaviour. I was advised by church not to go there, but of course I didn’t listen. I had a friend at the time who dated her now husband when he was going through a divorce so I hung on her every word & though God had sent her to me. The relationship seemed great for a while, I was treated like a princess, but soon more stuff came out about his past, I became even more anxiety ridden than I was before. We broke up a few times & I begged him to get back together with me. Things seemed to be ok for a while & we got engaged a few months after his divorce was finalised. I started to have more & more panic attacks & long story short, I finally came to my senses & ended it. I have since been told by my friends & church that I was being manipulated & being pushed into sexual intimacy even though I had tried to say I didn’t want that. The panic attacks have been dreadful. I allowed myself to get into a situation that I knew was toxic & I ignored sound advice. What shocks me most is that I could not see it at the time. I vowed that I would be careful, but I gave my heart away & I’m feeling a deep hopelessness. How could I have got it so wrong. I am terrified of the future, what if I never meet anyone or worse I just keep picking bad ones!!!
    I know I have to trust God, but I have a long journey ahead of me.

  10. What a wonderful post! It’s exactly what I needed to read. I want restoration for trust in my broken heart. I’m stepping out of my comfort zone and it’s a scary place. But I’m surrounded by good people who are watching out for me. I’m blessed. Thank you for your hope filled words.

  11. Dear Debbie, this message just re-echoed how 2016 was for me. I believe God to restore EVERYTHING that has either gone missing or wrong in my life and family. I am hopeful. This year will be the beginning of a new positive phase for me.

  12. Happy 2017 to you & John! Your words of wisdom are so encouraging, uplifting and hopeful, Debra. Just beautiful! Thank you.

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