Tuesday, December 29, 2015

what was and what is coming

The prospect of a New Year has always been something that causes me a wee bit of anxiety. There is something about it - the finality of an ending, the newness of space and time FULL of the unknown. I feel like I'm torn between two concepts - what WAS and what is COMING. I feel like I'm forced to move on to the new year and maybe I'm not really READY. True, I've had 364 days to prepare myself... but even then its sometimes not enough.

I try not to spend a lot of time in what was for fear of losing myself in that space. The comparison I end up creating makes me feel insufficient and unworthy. The thoughts that say 'remember when...' creep in and suddenly I can't see any good and perfect thing that has come from it. I can only see lack. And usually, its an abundance of lack. And though lack is NOT my reality, it seems to be the place I get stuck in.. and usually I believe it even when I KNOW not to. 

I try not to spend a lot of time in what is to come for fear of the cyclical thinking of making a decision and wondering if it is REALLY going to be the right one? And what if its not right? How can we recover? Will it cost us time? Money? Will be we spending emotions that we can't afford? Are we ready to take on what is coming? What are the risks? What are the rewards? Are we hearing Him right? What if we aren't? Will we be OK? ... OVER and OVER and OVER again...

The concept of the New Year forces me into thinking about these things. About what has passed and what is coming. This goes against my current philosophy of 'just do today.'  Just pay today's bills. Just deal with today's emotions. Just handle today's problems. Today. Only today. 

I find that the New Year also forces the idea of resolutions. WHY? This concept makes me crazy. WHY should I force myself to do something that I didn't want to do the previous year? Why should I HAVE to join a gym on January 1st because society says I'm morbidly obese and that is the only way I'll ever 'fix' myself? Why should I HAVE to resolve to be more kind or less of a door mat - shouldn't I be taking inventory of these things as the year goes along and just deal with them then? I've heard it said that 'my resolution is to not have a resolution' and as cliche as it sounds, I agree with that. January 1st shouldn't dictate a 'new you'... YOU should be evolving as the year goes and as you approach January 1st, then you should be just a little different than you were at the previous one. If this is true, then you're BETTER and it wasn't from your own resolve, it was from your experiences and the life you ACTUALLY lived throughout the year. #rantover (I wasn't planning on writing about that, but I guess I had to get it out.)

2015 was a crazy and unforgettable year. I call it the year of the lost and the found. It was a year that I lost who I was, but actually found that who I am is MUCH better than I thought. It was a year that tested relationships, grew and lost friendships. It was a year that reminded me that I have an AMAZING husband who loves me for ME and who trusts what I hear from God as though he heard it himself. A year that ripped me up, tore me to pieces, and then began the process of taping me back together. A year that I took the BIGGEST leap of my life and found myself nestled safe in God's plan for my family. And though every single day I wonder how long it will last, I KNOW that it was right. And necessary. And the single most courageous thing we have EVER done as a family. The year of the lost and the found. 

And so as I leave behind a year of MUCH change, I find that I'm not prepared for what's ahead. I feel like I'm standing at the top of a mountain. The view is nice here. Actually, its the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. The broken branches, the muddy slopes, the dirt smeared lines across our faces - all symbolic of the treacherous, unpaved road we walked. It's because of that I find our family in a place of beauty - even IF battered, we are STILL victorious. 

Logistically, when you're on the top of a mountain, you have to go down the other side if you want to forge ahead. You have to go from mountaintop to valley and then back up again. Sometimes? there isn't a trail to walk down and we find that we have to carve our own way. No two family would take the same road. We have to play to our strengths and minimize our weakness...but most of all we HAVE to trust that each step will bring us closer to God's perfect plan for our family. And so hand in hand, with provisions enough for just the day ahead, we test our footing and get ready to step. We press in to what SURELY will be our 2016 verse: Isaiah 42:16 - I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them" (I find it uncanny that the verse number is what it is...but God is ever surprising and ever resourceful and EVER eager to let it be known that He is unequivocally in charge of even the smallest detail of our lives.)

And so I find myself torn between what was and what is coming. I am teetering between embrace and avoidance; disapproval and pressing in; keeping and letting go. I can't say for certain that January 1st will be the day that I tip towards one side or the other...but I will say it won't last. At some point I'll realize that I have gone from one side to the other, naturally, and part of the way the year goes. Until then, I will take each day as it comes and do my best NOT to be torn between what was and what is coming. 

Proverbs 4:18 - The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.