Dear sister, I see you hurting and I acknowledge your pain. I don't know what causes it, but I know it's there, and I know it's not just you because I see a lot of posts in my news feed that hint that 2018 was rough on many of us and we are praying for prosperity in 2019.

Maybe you just became a mother this year and are unexpectedly raising that child alone. Maybe you lost the person you thought was the love of your life. Maybe you are struggling with depression. Maybe your husband cheated on you. Maybe you have cancer. Whatever it may be, you clicked on this article because you need hope for the future.

If this resonates with you, please listen to me, so that you will not be disillusioned: Speaking prosperity and wealth over your life in Jesus name will not guarantee that your circumstances improve. If that is all you think Jesus does, you're exchanging a diamond for a pebble, and you may not even get your pebble.

Good karma and good vibes are not what you need in 2019, sister.

Being better and making resolutions won't get you where you want to be.

Your anxiety, your laziness, your addictions, your insecurity, and your guilt will not leave themselves in 2018, and yet you are not strong enough alone.

What is it that will truly satisfy you and make 2019 your most radiant, joyful year yet?

It's Jesus, honey. But to avail yourself, you can't just share vague religious platitudes on Facebook and leave it at that. Here is what you should do instead:

1. You must be forgiven of your sins through Jesus’ sacrifice.

You, my sister, are an image-bearer of the King of kings. Your purpose for which you were created is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever, and none of us will be happy living outside of our purpose. You cannot by definition be peaceful while living in rebellion to your Creator.
You are also living in a world wracked and bending under the weight of ghastly sin, the sin which is committed when humans commit murders, genocides, rapes, thefts, lies. It is humans which cause this and humans who bear the blame. And it is my unfortunate job to tell you with love that you, as lovely and image-bearing as you are, are part of the problem.
Romans 3:23 says, "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God".
But praise be to our Father, who grows roses from ashes, He made a way for you to be reconciled through Himself taking your punishment. Please do not, dear feminine soul, miss the love in this. What you desire is unfailing love (Proverbs 19:22) and here it is: "He was pierced for our transgressions and crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds, we are healed." (Isaiah 53:5) His punishment brought you peace--reach out and take it!
"Then he called for a light, rushed in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. 'Sirs,' he said 'what must I do to be saved?' They said, 'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved.' " Acts 16:31-32

2. Find a church.

In order to facilitate your spiritual growth, provide you with friendship, instruct you in Scripture, serve your needs, and give you an opportunity to use your gifts to serve others, God has given us the gift of local churches. (It has been my personal experience that Reformed Baptist churches fill these purposes best, in case you're looking for a recommendation.)

Humans were not meant to live in solitude and execute the affairs of life without help (if you are a single mom, you may have a great appreciation of this fact.) I do not recommend that you attempt the Christian life alone. It isn't effective to expect spiritual growth by claiming membership in the "universal church" any more than you'd expect physical fitness by being part of the "universal gym."

3. Know what following Christ means.

A word of caution: Do not become a Christian in hopes of ironing out your life circumstances and achieving your best life now. You cannot expect health, wealth, and prosperity when you take up the cross of the Man of Sorrows (Isaiah 53:3.) The servant is not greater than her master (John 15:20) and our Master has forewarned us that in this world we will have trouble (John 16:33). But I didn't lie to you at the beginning; in fact, the last part of the last verse says "but take heart, for I have overcome the world."

All the money and possessions this world can offer cannot satisfy a heart that was made for another world. True happiness comes from being loved perfectly and from glorifying God, which require no particular life circumstances.

With that said, the holy Christian lifestyle discourages and steers away from the life circumstances which result from sin and spread misery, such as broken homes, sexual promiscuity, substance abuse, and poverty. In Christ, you have the strength, and in the church, you have the support system to break addictions, budget responsibly, and learn the skills required to build a Christ-centered marriage and family, no matter where you are in life. Whoever you are, whatever you've done, it's not too late. I pray that you will take hold of Christ and find the same peace and joy that I have.