I am writing on a Wednesday morning. A heavy frost covers all I see and this morning when I took Bonnie out I could hear the frozen blades of grass bend beneath my feet. The sky is white, the sun straining to be seen. It is the last day of 2014 and we have plans to celebrate the passing of another year with friends tonight.
I have spent the morning looking back, drinking coffee, and letting tears wash away the old. While other bloggers will share “my favorite memories” posts or “what I learned this year” posts, I feel grateful only to have survived—my chin scraped and knuckles permanently whitened from grasping for the end. The other day, Jeffrey asked me, “What was your favorite part of this year?” Asking, asking, that boy is always asking.
We are doing better, but still, this year will be remembered as the one covered in darkness. And yet, there have been many holy moments—times when light broke through and we glimpsed our true purpose.
There was Haiti, the way my heart was broken for a doe-eyed, brown-skinned people and their insuppressible joy in the midst of incomprehensible poverty. I do not want to forget. I have been changed by that one short week, my vision altered forever. In truth, I may never get another opportunity like this again. All the images we see online fail to mention the great expense required to make such a trip—the magnitude of resources required. I look back in gratitude at being allowed the privilege of such a journey and will treasure it always.
I published a book; a gift I am still unwrapping.
There was the trip to Connecticut with Teddy, which allowed me a glimpse of a new side of my boy. And I was so proud of the gentle way he is learning to love. There was watching Jeffrey play snare with the marching band, my heart swelling inside of me. There were two surgeries for one of our boys, these moments of vulnerability burn inside of me still. Our Bonnie-girl came to us, bringing a whirlwind of joy.
There was Ferguson and Russia and the missing airplanes. There were moments of triumph and moments of despair.
My word for the year was “shine” and I didn’t. I hid behind fear and ran from good things because I wasn’t brave enough to meet them. But there is grace and with each new beginning I am humbled anew by the fresh start.
This morning God whispered a name in my ear. Joshua. Through tears I nodded at Wisdom. And then I opened the book to see what this ancient text would speak to me about this particular place I am in. I read chapter one, which I know well.
“Get ready to cross the Jordan River,” said the Lord. “… As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
And so I’m dipping my toe into the river of a new year. And this seems the best promise to carry with me.