As the sun sets on another year, I am thinking about the things, the hard things, that I would have never chosen in 2014, but they chose me. They brought much grief but were always accompanied by gratitude.
Our years are made of days, some ordinary and some extraordinary. Those days, the ordinary and the extraordinary, occasionally conquer but also create us. They sometimes shatter us but subsequently sharpen us. We experience triumphs, and we endure tragedies. Some days break us only to build us. Days can be messy but NOT without meaning. Refinement and restoration marry well with an available heart.
The self-reliant use tallies of good and bad days to calculate the success of their year. It is perspective and the pursuit of
meaning amidst days, broken and beautiful, that the surrendered use to measure theirs. May I always evaluate my years from a position of surrender.
2014 has felt like a year of wandering in the Psalms for me. I have been desperate, and I have been dependent. I have lamented and I have praised. The year cultivated both difficult and defining memories. It was pretty, and it was painful.
2014 was a reminder that the goal of life is not happiness, because it is not happiness that brokers comfortable homes; but joy outside of circumstances found in a Savior that breeds content hearts.
I am reflecting on all the fragments of 2014, the brutal and the beautiful, and placing them within the context of Romans 8:28 today.~And we know that God causes everything to work for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.
I see much purpose born from the pain of some of the challenges of 2014. I can find meaning in much of the messiness, but there are other situations, however, I am still waiting. I am aware as Deuteronomy 29:29 tells me, I may never understand. Some things are only to be know by The Lord.
There are circumstances that are unthinkable, unfair and how could God be working right from something so wrong? I am reminded that it is here that I must exercise extravagant faith, not in circumstances I see but in a creator I trust.
It is here, in the stuck places, I have to put away all the “whys” and rest in Who. I do not say this lightly because this is a difficult assignment, but God does not call us to simple, rather to surrender.
We can view life through cynical-glasses or Savior-glasses. It is a choice-a very crucial one. 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011… They all had obstacles that shook and shaped me; not to my final destination but towards my desired direction.
It has been those dreaded moments, the broken ones, that have rendered the sweetest fruit. So while some are saying so long 2014, I cannot wait to forget you; I am saying I hope I always remember you.
There is so much meaning born within the parameters of messy. Jesus, our Savior, was born in the most unclean of environments. Isn’t it beautiful how the sloppiest of circumstances can become sacred. (Luke 2) Isn’t it sweet how pain can usher so much purpose. Jesus was crucified and suffered a painful death with a purpose to secure the salvation of a sinner like me. (Isaiah 53:11)
Thank you 2014 for all the ways you have pruned and protected me. Thank you for all the sorrow that stretched me. Growth really is most fertile when planted in the soil of grief. Thank you for the tears of pain and the tears of joy. Thank you for the portraits of beauty and the scribbles of brokenness. Mostly 2014, thank you for forging me deeper into relationship with my Savior.
Welcome 2015. I know your landscape will be one indigenous of peaks and valleys. I also know it is my triumphs over your tribulations that are for my growth and God’s glory. What a blessing to enter a new year given the grace to understand that.
Happy New Year to all. May you be rich enough to embrace prosperity and rattled enough to experience your Savior.