See ya, buh-bye, and later, 2017. I’m so over you. Like really. Totally move aside. All the things and all the feels. You’ve done your thing. And 2018 is taking over like a boss.
If I could actually “speak” to a year of my life, I’ve practiced my speech in front of the mirror. It is eloquent and it is bold. It is Oscar-worthy on so many levels, Meryl Streep would cry. I just know she would. It would go a little something like this.
You see, you and God really threw some doozies my way this year. Twists and hairpin turns navigated with a blindfold. Not cool, 2017. I’m actually mad at you, to be honest. But I know you can take it. You don’t run the show. You do what you are told by the one who speaks truth and grace over His children. He used you to show off. The way that only God can do. And He did so with such power and unconditional love, I’m still humbled that I was His vessel, but at the same time I’m searching for answers you may not have. And I need to be okay with that. I have a lot of friends who are way done with you, too. But we decided that we can take you on. Not by ourselves. We are really quite pathetic at taking on our hurts, fears, and the unknown without God’s constant help. So I’ve given up trying to do so. I’m bruised and a little battered, but my “why, God?” doesn’t phase Him. In fact, He welcomes it. My “why” isn’t an implication that He is wrong or not trustworthy. Instead, my questions spur me on to draw closer, look for Him with pointed intention, and blindly follow Him into a lot of unknowns. My asking helps me trust even when I don’t see answers. My asking helps me rely on the maker of all things. The author of all of my stories and the finisher of my faith. He reminds me that if He didn’t love me, He would not have carried me when I couldn’t crawl. He wouldn’t have sacrificed so much to reveal how good He is. He is not surprised by me or my complaints. They are old news to Him. He knew I would be asking, and He was ready.
He’s always been ready and willing to listen to my groaning. Even when the noise was loud and deafening, He heard me. When I couldn’t muster a whisper, He bent His ear to me. By a miracle I can’t yet understand, He doesn’t quake at the sound of my doubts. He loves me through it. He loved me through the year. And He will love me through the next one. And the next. No amount of disappointments on earth can take away from who He is. None. And truly, who else can love without condition like He does? Who can keep His promises when He says, “Child, I have not forgotten you. You are loved and you are mine.” When it is a season of peace and serenity, or one of deep sorrow, He is unchanging. I am His and He is mine. Running away from Him is the very last thing I should do. It will only bring more pain. So I will run TO Him. There’s nothing else to hold onto that will get me through. It very well may save my life, and will certainly bring me closer to Him. He can use what I see as the most wretched of circumstances to bring glory to Himself. When my questions are productive, I refuse to stay stuck. So, 2017, I will rest in this picture of God’s love and care for His children.
“Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, And He brought them out of their distresses. He caused the storm to be still, So that the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad because they were quiet, So He guided them to their desired haven.” (Psalm 107:29-30, New International Version, NIV).
A new year is right around the corner, and I’m expecting big things. Not because I deserve them. But because God doesn’t do small. He’s all in and He does things right. There’s nothing small about Him. So for now, if your year has bogged you down, dampened your resolve, and crushed your spirit, remember that He is for us. Never against us. He is the maker of new things, new years, and new adventures. I wish you well on your way out the door, 2017. And we won’t forget that God is our haven and He will quiet every storm. The waves won’t take us under. We will ride them and look for Him at every turn. And He will be there, like He has been all along. It is well with our souls. Oh friends, it is well.