We're kicking off the New Year with our sweet friend, Hannah Sorvik Fordice, who has a blog of her own called Rubble and Rescue. If you've had a tough 2017, you too may be wondering how 2018 will unfold. Praying her words will minister to your soul...
Last New Years Eve, I found myself sitting at the kitchen table next to an unopened bottle of champagne I had planned to bring to a friend's house; in my hands was a pregnancy test with two pink lines in the viewing window.
At the time, my husband was in a work rotation that included night shifts, so even though it was 3pm he was sound asleep in our bedroom. I gently shook him awake (I'm fairly sure my hands were shaking so hard, I probably only had to touch his arm for the effect), and said, "good morning hun, guess what?" and handed him the test.
It was a new year, a new life, a new start - everything was full of promise. My resolutions included informing our parent's of their newly minted "grandparent status", creating a birth plan, learning how to change diapers, and decorating a nursery.
Tomorrow it will be New Years Eve again, and I can't help but look at the last year and wonder, what the hell happened?
My parent's house burned down, my dad died, I miscarried our baby and had emergency surgery, my mother-in-law was diagnosed with brain cancer, I quit my job to become a caregiver, had a complete mental break down, frequented the doctor for various health concerns, my niece and my uncle had open heart surgeries and seven months after her diagnosis, my mother-in-law also died.
That is SO not how I thought 2017 would go.
Call me crazy, but here at the turn of another year, instead of resolutions I keep having reservations.
How do I believe that God has good plans in store for my life when so much bad has happened? How do I trust in the promise of an abundant life when so much has been taken away? How do I start to dream again, to open my heart again, to love again?
And maybe, just maybe, you find yourself asking the same questions this year.
“My heart’s been torn wide open, just like I feared it would be, and I have no willpower to close it back up.”
— Marie Lu, Champion
To be honest with you, I don't really have the answers. I wish I didn't fear the phone ringing, the fireplace crackling, or the possibility of becoming a mom again. I wish I knew how to expect good news instead of waiting for the other shoe to fall. These fears are real and I don't deny the uncertainty of life.
But this I do know: living in anxiety instead of anticipation becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you constantly worry, even the wondrous becomes wistful and opportunities become wasted.
To live in fear is to suppress a fruitful life.
This year has broken me time and time again and it sure as heck wasn't what I dreamed of at the table last New Years Eve. Perhaps you know the feeling.
- But -
Hopefully I have been formed into a better shape, pruned into a more fruitful person - and my gosh, I pray the same for you friend.
“I have been bent and broken, but - I hope - into a better shape.”
— Emily Dickinson
Whatever questions you bring to the table here at the turn of the year, whatever baggage is weighing you down, I propose this resolution:
To be open to love and in turn, to cast out fear. For "There is no fear in love. But perfect love casts out fear." (John 4:18)
“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open up to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. ”
— John Lennon