A light box reads "By Grace", There is a cross on the table next to it, a candle lit in front of it and three pebbles. The pebbles have a word on each of them: brave, curious, kind.

This is a prayer 
for anyone who is not ready
for the New Year yet.
Who is not ready
to move on yet.
Who doesn’t have energy for 
“New Year New You”. 
Who is still in the grief of it all,
who isn’t ready to be grateful
for it right now,
or to turn all hard times into “growth”.

This is a prayer
for anyone who sees the
numerous
“New Year, New You” ads,
and knows that they are 
about capitalism
and diet culture
but still feels that pull
to be better, thinner, shinier.

This is a prayer
for anyone who
isn’t starting 2021
“fresh”
as a shiny new person,
full of goals and aspirations.

This is a prayer 
that knows there is Grace.
This is a prayer
that believes in Compassion.
This is a prayer
that trusts that we belong,
as we are,
exactly as we are,
to the One who is Love.

Amen. 


Jemma Allen is a priest in the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia and expresses that ministry as a researcher, counsellor and spiritual director. Part of this prayer draws on a social media post by Rebekah Ballagh on Instagram @journey_to_wellness_ The antipathy to diet culture is my own!


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