The start of a new year brings many emotions and feelings for us all. There are unmet goals, last year’s resolutions have long been forgotten, and dreams have been overshadowed by the busyness that fills our day to day lives. While the start of a new year waits with the anticipation of a “re-do” so to speak, I always feel like I left the last year in shambles. I’m 53 years old and I’m still hoping the new year and a fresh start will be THE YEAR! So, I hold my breath and march into 2018 as if THIS IS THE YEAR that I will succeed and it will all go according to…ME! Pretty quickly I start to realize that this year, 2018, will hold moments that, come 2019, I’ll be glad are over. Living just brings pain and disappointment. But if it wasn’t for the pain and the hard, we wouldn’t be able to enjoy the absolute happiness that comes with living as well.
Years ago, Steven and I walked with dear friends through the loss of their daughter, never imagining how our story would later unfold. Steven, as only he can, felt compelled to write a song in honor of their daughter - to attempt to give them something to hold onto during that excruciatingly horrible time. His words were simply…
For me, a new year comes down to two words: trust and hope. I choose to trust in the One who knows no time; who knows what my past held and what my future holds. And in that simple word trust… if I can just squint my eyes tight and hold on with all I have, then I feel the hope that comes with trusting. Hope is what gets any of us through another year. Hope is ultimately fulfilled when we are standing wholly complete and in eternity where we were made to be. I can walk out any kind of year, if I can just trust and hope.
While there is a freshness that comes with the start of something new, the aching in our hearts from years past often follows us into the next. And that’s okay. Over time, I’ve learned to trust the simplest realization...God is with me now, and he SEES me now. He SEES the parts of my story that I don’t understand, and he knows the desires I have in my heart for the future...for myself, for Steven, for my children, and for my grandchildren.
As our family walks January through December, I want us to carry that realization within us. And as we wait for the day when we will SEE Maria again, and our family will be made whole, may we all hold onto that hope...God is with us now, and he SEES us now.
Dan Allender writes, “Hope waits but does not sit. It strains with eager anticipation to see what may be coming on the horizon. Hope does not pacify; it does not make us docile and mediocre. Instead, it draws us to greater risk and perseverance.”
As we enter this new year, my hope for you is that you would feel the space to wait, to ache, to hold on, and to let go. And may we do all of these things with the hope that our Father has given us through his Son. We might be in the dead of winter, but we know how this story ends. Spring is coming, and as we anticipate its arrival, let us hope with perseverance. May God give us the eyes to SEE the joy he allows to be reaped from sorrow.
Trusting in Him... Happy New Year,