As the hours of another year fade, I am thinking about the things, the hard ones, that I would have never chosen in 2015, 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 and quality of growth amidst days, broken and beautiful, that the surrendered use to measure theirs. May I always evaluate my years from a position of obedience to the word, not obtainments of the world.
This year has felt like another 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. I have learned that all years are as long as we are living under the sun.
2015 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 the past year, 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 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 known by The Lord. Many circumstances are unfair. I am tempted to wonder how God could be working right from something seemingly so wrong? It is here that I must exercise unreasonable faith, not in circumstances I see but in a creator, I trust. I am slow to submit daily my exclusory perspective to God’s eternal plan. 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 we are not called to an assurance of facts, but an acceptance of our Father.
We can view life through skeptical-glasses or Savior-glasses. It is a choice and a very crucial one. 2015, 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 2015, I cannot wait to forget you; I am saying may I always remember you.
Meaning is often disguised within the parameters of messy. Jesus was born in the most unclean of environments. Isn’t it beautiful how the sloppiest of circumstances can become sacred. Jesus was crucified and suffered a painful death with the intent to secure the salvation of a sinner like me. It is no wonder that pain is piercing, but priceless because our eternity was founded on that principal.
Thank you 2015 for all the opportunities you provided God to prune and protect me. Thank you for all the sorrow that stretched me. Growth 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 2015, thank you for transporting me deeper into a relationship with my Savior.
Welcome, 2016. I know your terrain 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. May I be a good steward of all you behold, the pleasant and the unpleasant. This year, nor any ahead, as I have finally learned, will I evaluate by happiness or success, but holiness and stewardship of the shattered and the shiny moments that meet me down roads I do not yet know I will travel. 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. Holiest of New Years, friends.