The New Year

Goodbye old year. You were a decent year, I don’t care what they say about you. Yeah, a lot of crummy stuff happened in 2022. But a lot of good stuff happened in 2022.

For starters, scientists finally pinpointed the origins of the universe. Researchers theorized that a chain reaction of exploding supernovae, 14 million years ago, created a 1,000-light-year-wide bubble, at the epicenter of which lies our humble galaxy.

Many top scientists agreed that this galactical event could NOT have happened by randomized chance.

When skeptical scientists were asked whether this new galactical discovery proved or disproved the existence of, ahem, Intelligent Design, they remarked, “We, um, well, next question.”

Also, this year marked the first year in history that women refereed the men’s World Cup. Which is a big deal in soccer world. And even though, personally, I only follow sports involving either Richard Petty, Dale Murphy or Miller Lite, I am very proud of my fellow soccer-loving human.

Also, this year Victoria’s Secret featured its first model with Down syndrome, Sofía Jirau, who writes:

“When I was little, I looked myself in the mirror and said, ‘I’m going to be a model and a businesswoman.’”

Today, Sofía can be seen sporting a high-dollar bra “in my favorite color, pink,” Jirau said. “Victoria’s Secret, I love it.”

Sofía’s story was shared with me by my friend, Kandy, from Cleveland, Ohio, whose adult daughter has Down syndrome. Kandy writes:

“Before the ‘80s, the majority of people with Down syndrome were shoved into institutions, but today people with Down syndrome are kicking butt, contributing to their communities, becoming famous. We aren’t just talking about changing the world anymore, we are actually doing it.”

Also this year, my truck hit 189,000 miles. I don’t know how my Ford F-150 manages to keep running even though it is 20-odd years old, but it does.

This truck has been so abused and battered, and has traversed 39 different states. And yet the thing keeps going.

Yes, the interior smells like a giant dog’s hindparts. Yes, the seats are missing vital pieces of upholster foam. But the truck is still going strong, and that must count for something.

This is also the year that Freida, an 18-year-old from Kansas City, Missouri, had an experimental cancer surgery. The operation was done in California. The surgery worked. Today, she is cancer free.

This year Chelsea (69), of Detroit, Michigan, got married for the first time. She met a man over the internet, an environmental scientist named Bud. Bud has never been married, either.

They hit it off. They went to TGI Friday’s. They kissed on the third date. They had a private wedding in Miami.

“I used to think my life was over,” says Chelsea. “I guess God had other plans.”

This year, a 12-year-old kid named Zion got adopted. Zion’s caseworker emailed me early in January. Zion and I began emailing back and forth for several months.

Zion’s father was murdered. His mother was a drug addict who left him lying on his back for the first 7 months of his life. Zion almost starved to death. But that was not the end.

Today, Zion has been adopted by two loving parents who are smitten with him. Zion is an honor student.

He told his mother yesterday: “God has always been my looker outter. He looks out for me, I have always known this.”

Also, 2022 was the year I discovered I don’t have cancer. Earlier this year, doctors told me they thought I had a major problem. They sent me in for test after test. I was so scared that my personal life started to fall apart. I lost nearly 40 pounds just from stress.

During one particular test involving a large digital-imagery apparatus, I was instructed by a young college-age female medical tech to drop my trousers.

I did.

Whereupon the young tech said, “Um, you also have to drop your underpants.”

“But,” I pointed out, “then I’ll be buck naked.”

After which the college-age girl said—and this is true—“Don’t be embarrassed, I’ve seen millions of thingies doing this job.”

After weeks of waiting, the doctor called me with the test results, I was at an Atlanta Braves game, standing in line at a vending booth, ordering an Ovaltine.

The doctor said, “You don’t have cancer, Sean. You’re all clear.”

I started to cry, in front of God and country. And I mean REALLY cry. Snot and tears and everything. And try as I may, I cannot unfeel the gratitude I felt that fateful evening. I kicked back a few celebratory Ovaltines that night.

So, as we stand on the cusp of a brand new frightening year, I’ll be honest, I don’t know what 2023 will bring. It might be good. It might be a bad year. It might be the hardest, most disastrous year of my life. Or maybe it will be the best.

But, truthfully, I don’t care what 2023 holds. Because I know who holds 2023.


  1. Becky Grubbs - December 28, 2022 2:43 pm

    The best ever, and all because of that last sentence! Thank you and may God continue to bless you in all ways.

  2. Mariah - December 28, 2022 2:45 pm

    You are so right Sean…Happy New Year!

  3. Stan - December 28, 2022 2:46 pm

    He is in control.

  4. mccutchen52 - December 28, 2022 2:51 pm

    Head high and keep moving. I hope 2023 is better for me.

  5. Diana Kinser - December 28, 2022 2:53 pm

    Performing at the Grand Ole Opry will be one really good thing in 2023 (just don’t drop your drawers!)

  6. lou Ellen Dean - December 28, 2022 2:54 pm

    You are in good hands-the very best!!!!❤️❤️❤️

  7. Alan Martin - December 28, 2022 2:58 pm

    So happy for you. In all things, praise be to God!

  8. Renee Welton - December 28, 2022 2:59 pm

    I’m crying as I read this! Yes, He holds 2023 and you and me, and He will be there, with us, each and every day. I love how you write, thank you💙💙💙

  9. Carolyn Shomaker - December 28, 2022 2:59 pm

    I am so glad that I discovered you. Your writing hits me square in the heart. I miss so much those big family days when we all gathered at grandma’s house on Sundays, and we had to eat in shifts because there were so many children, grandchildren, cousins, and so on. So many of them are gone and my own children and grandchildren don’t know what that’s like. Everyone’s grown and gone and they’re doing their own thing – I sit here with my memories and view those days through my rose-colored glasses. Somehow it feels like family doesn’t matter anymore. But like you, I know who is in control and knows every pain in my heart. I have so much to be thankful for and I am glad to wake up on this side of the dirt every morning. I married my soul mate after being apart for 40+ years and I have a sweet and slightly neurotic pit bull who watches my every move and can’t love me enough for rescuing him from a bad situation. I don’t have a lot but I have enough. And when you have God in your heart, you have everything you need. God Bless You and your family – Looking forward to a new year.

  10. Steve McCaleb - December 28, 2022 3:01 pm

    Amen my friend. But you and I must come a parting of the waves when it comes to soccer. I admit I was influenced as as a small child by my late father who always referred to it as “¥€#+>% communist kickball”. I’ve tried to like soccer but I just can’t. Random men running 7 different directions kicking a volleyball for no apparent reason other than they like to play footsie keepaway is more than I can stand. An Amway convention backed up with a 3 hour speech on the advantages of Whole Life Insurance over Term would be stimulating compared to this mind numbing crap. If you could get this stinking crapanzeeola into a bottle you could put the melatonin futures into the toilet faster than the environmental nazies changed from “global warming “ to “ climate change” when it was so rudely pointed out to them that they were wrong. Okay…okay I’m thru. Where’s the Tylenol?

    • Susie - December 29, 2022 12:35 am

      Steve, you must not live in Buffalo, New York, huh.

  11. David - December 28, 2022 3:05 pm

    Several fantastic stories there Sean! That makes 2022 not seem nearly as bad! God bless you big time my friend!

  12. Carlin Brooks - December 28, 2022 3:08 pm

    Yes He does. Great thoughts to start off the New Year. Happy New Year Sean.

  13. Bud McLaughlin - December 28, 2022 3:13 pm

    I know 2023 will bring one thing – you, onstage at the Ryman. And my wife and I will be in the audience.

  14. David in California - December 28, 2022 3:14 pm

    Praise God from whom all blessings flow…

  15. lanierh2 - December 28, 2022 3:14 pm

    Amen! Zion knows the truth. Glad you do not have cancer. Happy New Year!

  16. Timothy Staggs - December 28, 2022 3:16 pm

    What a wonderful post! So glad you are cancer free. And, how bout fixing up that old Ford’s seats

  17. Beth Wannamaker - December 28, 2022 3:18 pm

    One of your very best writings. My Chevy Astro Van is a 1997 and I’ve had it for 6 or 7 years now – still running good! Happy 2023 to two of my very favorite people – you and Jamie! God is still good and 2023 will be a very good year – even if some days you have to look hard to find the good!

  18. Suellen - December 28, 2022 3:20 pm

    Amen and Amen. It’s usually a little mixture of both but God always celebrates the good times with me and carries me through the hard times. Praying for you, your family, and your faithful readers to have a wonderful New Year.

  19. Kristen Dunder - December 28, 2022 3:21 pm

    I love this, Sean. I found out back in February that I didn’t have cancer either, after an initial suspicious mammogram. It really has affected my outlook on how I want to live my life going forward. I’m no longer interested in arguing over differences, I want to enjoy and celebrate friends and family, and I’ve started making changes to better my physical and mental well-being.

    I wish you and Jamie a very Happy New Year!

  20. Gordon - December 28, 2022 3:36 pm

    Amen and amen on you last statement. Happy New Year

  21. Anne Arthur - December 28, 2022 3:54 pm

    And to that, I’ll only say, “AMEN.”

  22. Melanie - December 28, 2022 3:54 pm

    Yes, He does.

  23. Karen - December 28, 2022 3:58 pm

    “God has always been my looker outer.” I will keep this in my heart. It is a time to celebrate you had no cancer. Kiss that Ford F 150 for being so faithful. Kiss your sweet pup hat now is loved and safe. Thank you for sharing what is good about people. I hope you and Jamie have a wonderful New Year.

  24. Cynthia Sand - December 28, 2022 4:05 pm

    Love you, buddy! Here’s to a fantastical year! Love starting off my day with your heart and humor. Cheers!

  25. sjhl7 - December 28, 2022 4:10 pm

    Amen and Amen. He holds the whole world in His hands just as the song I sang in Sunday School 70+ years ago said!

  26. Gigi - December 28, 2022 4:18 pm

    I think 2023 will be a really good year, you’re cancer free, and you’re going to be onstage at The Ryman !! What a great way to start off your year! ❤️ I’m praying that 2023 will be a better year for us. My always healthy, never sick husband was quite literally hours away from death’s door (per Emergency room Dr & later a Specialist) on Valentine’s Day from an AutoImmune disease (GPA) that suddenly attacked his lungs & kidneys. (The answer is “no” to what some of you might be thinking when you hear the word “suddenly” and a medical issue follows). He was in ICU for a week, and released from the hospital one month later. Now he’s on kidney dialysis two days a week, (down from his original 3 days a week, praise God!), but we’re still praying for a miracle, that he regains more kidney function this year. Then, 2 days after my birthday, on a beautiful spring day, my sister’s 30 year old son was killed in a car wreck. It’s been a horrible year for our family. You’re so right Sean, we’re in God’s hands, and He’s in control. No matter what we go through, God is always there with us. God is good all the time, and all the time God is good ! Happy New Year to you & Jamie !!

  27. Rickey - December 28, 2022 4:21 pm

    I enjoy your work, and you make me laugh when you write that you aren’t a particularly religious person….even though you continuously prove that you are. Blessings.

    • Susie - December 29, 2022 12:29 am

      Well, at least Sean sometimes questions faith, which tells me HE, at least, has a brain and doesn’t necessarily believe in fairy tales.

  28. Trilby - December 28, 2022 4:22 pm


  29. Kathy - December 28, 2022 4:34 pm

    Yes! I know Him, too. Thank you for all the positives in a world where negativity seems to have become the norm.

  30. Shannon - December 28, 2022 4:36 pm


  31. Marilyn - December 28, 2022 4:58 pm

    Happy New Year to everyone! God is with us always – through the good, the bad and the ugly.

  32. Marilyn Vance - December 28, 2022 5:00 pm

    Well said, my brother!

  33. Cathy Walsh - December 28, 2022 5:09 pm

    Amen, Sean.

  34. Susan W Fitch - December 28, 2022 5:42 pm

    You’ll have a great new year!! Keep on writing!

  35. Jan Burchfield - December 28, 2022 5:43 pm

    Cannot wait to see you in March at the Grand Old Opry!! Will be driving up from Tupelo Mississippi.

  36. Mitch Stennett - December 28, 2022 5:53 pm

    Amen to knowing Who’s in control! BTW, my 2011 F-150 has 206,000+ miles on it, was severely “dimpled” by the 2019 hail storm here in Jones County, Mississippi, and runs good!

  37. Deborah McLaughlin - December 28, 2022 6:22 pm

    Just in case no one has told you yet today (and I don’t for a minute believe that is the case!), YOU’RE THE BEST, SEAN!

  38. Deacon Nick - December 28, 2022 6:37 pm

    Amen, Sean! He has the whole world — all 6,000,000,000+ of us — in His hands. On this 4th day of Christmas, we continue to sing: Joy to the world, the Lord is come! Let earth receive her King! Let every heart, prepare Him room; and heaven and nature sing; and heaven and nature sing; and heaven, and heaven, and nature sing!!!

    • Susie - December 29, 2022 12:39 am

      Ya, Nick, just like Santa goes down chimneys all over the world on Xmas Eve.

  39. Stacey Wallace - December 28, 2022 6:53 pm

    You are correct, Sean. Thanks for starting my husband’s and my day off right. Love to you, Jamie, Marigold, Otis Campbell, and Thelma Lou.

  40. Priscilla Rodgers - December 28, 2022 7:13 pm

    And that’s the key! Amen.

  41. Karen Carow Dees - December 28, 2022 7:14 pm

    God bless you and Jamie. Saw you in Thomasville and can’t wait to see what’s next !

  42. Jerry Knight - December 28, 2022 7:25 pm

    So glad that your cancer disappeared, glory to God.
    Thanks very much for your daily writing, it brightens every day.
    Blessings to you and yours and happy 2023 to all of us.

  43. Kathy Pckett - December 28, 2022 7:37 pm

    Always an excellent read.

  44. bpdawson20gmailcom - December 28, 2022 7:53 pm

    Wish I could hug you … Jamie wouldn’t mind; I’m 85.

  45. WayneGina Yount - December 28, 2022 8:10 pm

    Amen, thank God He’s got our backs!

  46. Joretta Parker - December 28, 2022 8:35 pm

    Amen to that, young man!

  47. Chasity Davis Ritter - December 28, 2022 9:15 pm

    Amen, Sean, Amen!

  48. Carol - December 28, 2022 9:44 pm

    Happy New Year, Sean!
    So Thankful You Don’t have Cancer.!!

  49. Stephen - December 28, 2022 9:59 pm

    Moved me to tears again.. thank ya man!
    Wonderful thoughts from you!
    Best wishes

  50. Patricia Gibson - December 28, 2022 10:05 pm

    Amen Sean

  51. Linda Moon - December 28, 2022 10:34 pm

    And because you write, my tomorrows here become better after I’ve read each new post of yours.

  52. Mickie - December 28, 2022 10:42 pm

    His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me.

    • PMc - December 29, 2022 12:02 am

      Thank you Sean, you share, the good the bad and the ugly with us all. We all are family and I am grateful. “He has the whole word in his hands,” and this is exactly where I want to be.
      Peace and Love from Birmingham 🙏♥️

  53. PMc - December 29, 2022 12:04 am


  54. Karen Snyder - December 29, 2022 12:57 am

    To paraphrase Henry Ford, ‘If you think it’s good, or if you think it’s bad, it is.’ So much depends on our perspective and our acceptance of His loving care and guidance. Happy New Year! ❤️

  55. Melissa Brown - December 29, 2022 1:05 am

    Amen Sean. Wishing you and your wife & furbabies a very Happy New Year !!!

  56. Melanie - December 29, 2022 1:25 am

    God bless F-150’s! ❤️

  57. 1018le - December 29, 2022 1:39 am

    ME, TOO, SEAN! Keep on telling your stories; I believe every one of them! Happy 2023! 🙂

  58. Carolyn - December 29, 2022 1:49 am


  59. AlaRedClayGirl - December 29, 2022 1:52 am

    God’s blessings on us all in the coming year!

  60. MAM - December 29, 2022 2:50 am

    You nailed it, Sean. We do know that God holds 2023, just as He has every year since the beginning of time! Happy New Year, and may God bless us mightily. I laughed at the F-150, because it sounds just like my husband’s 1999 F-150 with the pieces of seat foam missing.

  61. Lynda West - December 29, 2022 3:02 am

    His will, His way, His time….

  62. Steven E Rafferty - December 29, 2022 4:04 am

    Ovaltine?? No way it’s awful you must mean Miller Lite!!

  63. Linda - December 29, 2022 5:54 am

    You are so absolutely right Sean .
    A Happy & Healthy New Year to you and Jamie !

  64. Ginga Smithfield - December 29, 2022 9:00 am


  65. Diana - December 29, 2022 12:43 pm

    There is a lot of good happening out there and I’m so glad you tell us about some of it. I’m so glad you received the good phone call. I was on the receiving end of the bad phone call twice and believe me, you don’t want it. But, 28 years later I’m a cancer survivor. We’re both truly blessed. Happy New Year!

  66. Cate - December 29, 2022 3:15 pm

    “God has always been my looker outer.” brought me to tears. Happpy New Year Shawn, Jamie and your fur babies. May it be a blessed one for all.

  67. Kim Morris Ladoczky - December 29, 2022 3:48 pm

    I’ll be honest, I don’t always read you. Sometimes, I just can’t handle the emotions. But when I do, it’s absolutely fantastic… thank you for that. I will keep checking my email 💖 here’s to 2023. Happy New Year

  68. Barbara - December 30, 2022 1:04 am


  69. Beverly Negri - December 30, 2022 6:45 pm

    Any year you continue to write is a good year for your readers. Thank you.

  70. Bonnie Specchio - December 30, 2022 7:34 pm

    Glad to hear about your dependable Ford truck. My husband used to be a Ford dealer and that’s all we drive. His 2000 Ford Explorer (called his hunting vehicle) has 334,000 miles and still going strong even though it looks like hell. Drive on!

  71. Jean B Reidinger - December 31, 2022 7:52 pm

    Oh, this is WONDERFUL!!! I think the BEST EVER you have written, and I love them all. Jean Reidinger

  72. wayne umbertis - January 1, 2023 12:48 am

    Clear eyed, good stuff.

  73. Tawanah Fagan Bagwell - January 1, 2023 3:13 am

    Sean, I am so glad that you don’t have cancer. There is so much more for you to do and you need to feel good! Come and perform at Oxford Performing Arts Center soon!

  74. Gloria - January 1, 2023 3:57 am


  75. Buddy Caudill - January 2, 2023 4:02 pm


  76. James Stamps - January 4, 2023 1:26 pm

    Amen to the last paragraph!


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