Today is the last day of my Christmas break. I went ahead and took it off because i knew that if i had to go in today, I'd be a hot mess. The combo of not sleeping Saturday night (wild crazy party of playing "things" and eating brie while drinking good wine) and needing a day to get things ready (laaaauuundry) was enough of a reason for me.
So this morning I got up late (but not too late) made some coffee, read some Spurgeon and put on some Fleetwood Mac, threw in a load of laundry and started thinking. Spurgeon and Fleetwood Mac will do that to a person. (sidenote: cute story. I found a thrift shop and bought some vinyl, including the self titled Fleetwood Mac... which is awesome. Ashley called me from Delaware to tell me she bought me Rumours, like... 2 days later. I have never listened to so much Fleetwood Mac in my life.)
Here is the thing about Fleetwood Mac (we are going to abbreviate and call them "FM" from here on out because they have a long name)... I never think "hmmm... i could go for some FM right now". But put on "Never Going Back Again"... and I am in. Put on "Dreams" and I have a hairbrush in my hand, standing on the couch, pretending I am Stevie. 70's Stevie... not 80s-90s-today Stevie. Now she is weird and scary and all baggy clothing, fluffy hair and flowing sleeves. In the 70's she was awesome. Top hats, good bangs, bad-ass.
Where was I? Yes. the combo of reading Sprugeon and hearing Stevie singing "thunder only happens when it's raining...players only love you when they're playing" (so wise...) got me thinking.
I'm going to level with you, apart from a few things, 2011 sucked big ones. I did not like it. (all babies and weddings are excluded from that statement) At the end of '10 we were all saying "2011 is going to be awesome!" and came in with high hopes. It started off pretty good, but about June things got crazy. I saw many friends walking through hardship. My life was pretty dandy. But seeing others walk through everything, I didn't have any time or energy to focus or whine about my life. If things had stayed wonderful for everyone else, trust me, I would've found things to complain about. But for the first time in a long time, my gaze wasn't on myself. Instead I had the honor of lifting up friends before the Lord; caring for them and thinking about them. And it wasn't just one friend. Lots of them. Our church as a whole is walking through one of the hardest times we ever had. I saw loved ones get bad news, relationships come to a screeching halt, as well as many other things.
So at 11:59 on 12/31/11 I felt relieved. "FINALLY this year is over. 2012 is going to be AWESOME" I thought as I clinked glasses with my friends. But then I flashed back to me exactly a year before thinking the same thing. How do I know that isn't going to happen again? How do I know that this May or June, the sh** is going to hit the fan? How do i know that this year is going to be good? What makes me think that 2012 is going to be MY YEAR. Why do I think that this might be the year some fine lad moseys into my life? (i think that every year). HOW DO I KNOW THAT 2012 WON'T BE WORSE!?!?!?
I don't know that. It might be. 2012 might make 2011 look like a picnic. But you know what? God is still good. He hasn't changed. And looking back over 2011, I see amazing things.
I see that Mindy and Daniel Coleman got the best news, then heartbreaking news, then harder news, which all led to the sweetest, toughest, little baby I have ever laid eyes on.
And through that I saw a community of people come together to help them, through the help of Knox McCoy.
I saw one of my dearest long-time friends become a stronger, peace-filled woman through heartbreak.
I saw my best friend Shaynah begin to prepare for motherhood, leaving her career as a teacher and begin coaching swimming, her true passion
I began cultivating friendships with 2 younger girls, attempting to encourage them and praying for them daily
I saw a community come together again to help bring Rinah home to the Gallos.
I saw Kara, another amazing woman, walk through heartbreak of news of infertility, an adoption that fell through, and then the happiest Christmas surprise I have ever known (apart from the actual birth of the Savior, of course)
I saw my church band together, learn from our shortcomings, become more grace filled and came to love and respect my pastors more than ever before.
I saw the the prayers of many answered for the Hurtgen's with the birth of Phoenix. We were praying for her to come into existence for many years
The Lord brought new friendships to me. And deepened current ones.
I hit a milestone that I had feared. I didn't fear turning 30 in general. I feared turning 30 and being single. But I did it. (not that I had a choice). And looking back, I have never been more content, more joy filled with where the Lord has me than I am right now. I love what my life looks like.
So I can't be promised a good, happy, easy year. But during it I can pray and trust the Lord, that He already knows
in Mornings and Evenings today I read this:
"Prayer is the lisping of the believing infant, the shout of the fighting believer, the requiem of the dying saint falling asleep in Jesus. It is the breath, the watchword, the comfort, the strength, the honor of a Christian. If you are a child of God, you will seek your Father’s face, and live in your Father’s love. Pray that this year you may be holy, humble, zealous, and patient; have closer communion with Christ, and enter more often into the banqueting‐house of His love. Pray that you may be an example and a blessing to others, and that you may live more to the glory of your Master. The motto for this year must be, “Continue... in prayer.”
2011 was hard, but good.
and 2012 might be hard. But it will be good. It will be sweet. It will be filled with new mercies and joys. We will all learn and grow. We will continue on the path laid out before us. We will come out of trials, start new ones. And I am sure on 12/31/12 at 11:59 PM I will be more than happy to bid '12 farewell. I will have high hopes for '13. But until then... I want to see what is coming up. And continue in prayer.