Friday, January 1

Thoughts and Resolutions

"I said to the man at the gate of the year,
'Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.'
And he replied,
'Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.' "
-M.L. Haskins

I would have to say that this is probably one of the best New Year's Eve experiences I have had in awhile. I was not alone, rather surrounded by family and by friends. I was not out trying to prove that I could be at the coolest party, or trying to dress up only to feel empty upon my return home. I was not affected by a touch of alcohol or any other substance. I was not crying or upset or experiencing any other dramatic feeling. Tonight was just simple and quiet and comforting. The hours flew by as I visited with friends and before I knew it, we were counting down with Dick Clark on television. And then we hugged and kissed each other as friends and family do, wishing everyone a Happy New Year. And I was okay. There, it only took 30 years to realize what's important on a night like tonight...simplicity, relationships, and thankfulness.

On the way home, I stopped for gas, knowing I had 40 minutes of driving and about 30 minutes until my gas light came on...not a good night for getting stranded. So, of course, I'm standing there pumping gas, when some guy walks up to me. Mind you, I just watched "Taken" 3 nights ago. Something about a strange guy acting all friendly asking why I'm out on my own kind of put me on guard. But I grew up in NY...I know how to act tough. So that's what I but purposed eye contact, brief statements, no extra information offered. He offered his hand and told me his name. We exchanged a few words and then he mentioned he didn't want to make things awkward. As he turned to leave, I reached out to shake his hand...and although I had said "Happy New Year" to all of my friends and family already tonight...saying so to this guy felt more I was offering a blessing to a stranger. I cried on the way home about it, I don't know why; and then I prayed for him. Because all I could think about was the fact that I had to be on the defense, but what I really wanted was to share the love of Christ with him. I could see the searching in his eyes. I want to find a way to reach more people like that ...and answer the unspoken questions they are asking.

As I held a brand new little one in my lap tonight and talked to his mom, she asked me how I was. I had to tell her that I don't even know how to wrap up this past year. I have hundreds of pictures but I cannot even create one Facebook picture collage. I had amazing experiences traveling, loving, learning and I really cannot hold on to very many of the memories. They are attached to something that has ceased to exist, and I feel as if I am not allowed to even rejoice in the fact that these experiences were mine to have. Everything I have built upon, made room for, and invested in seems to have either disappeared or fallen apart. Yay, Happy New Year right? (insert smile connotating a hint of sarcasm)

In a devotional I read today I was reminded that talking about the disappointments for too long would lead nowhere, but talking about God's goodness and faithfulness would begin to create an atmosphere of expectancy, an atmosphere where it possible to overcome what we are going through. So, while I do not deny the pain and questions I have been facing, I also cannot deny the love that has been revealed through all of this. I have an amazing support team...unconditional love coming from family and friends...many of whom have sacrificed time just to talk or to pray. I have a God who is chasing after me, telling me about the beauty He has created, whispering to me about the fact that He wants to bless my heart and make me come alive. We are never truly alone. And for this I am so thankful.

Before I left my parents tonight I played some songs for them...satisfying their requests was long overdue...and I could not end the year in silence. As I played, I remembered the reason that I sing... "On the other side, of these hopes that I have carried, on the other side, in the shadow of the cross, on the other side, of a broken heart and spirit, on the other side, I find You..." On the other side of 2009 may we all find that we are loved by a God who is chasing after our hearts and waiting to show us even more.

Psalm 27:13-14
I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.


Elisa Pompili said...


Happy New Year!

pip said...

amen. beautiful.

Bethany said...

Creating an atmosphere of it. :o)

Amy Watson said...

:) Happy New Year April!