It’s almost a New Year. Time for a new notebook, a new Bible reading plan, and a time for setting a few goals. Like lose 30 lbs. I’ve recycled that goal for a few years now. I don’t often accomplish all of my goals anymore, but I have always loved to make them. I like a new start. A blank page. Usually because I feel the last one is sullied. It’s time for a new story.
I know many people mock New Year’s resolutions, but, whatever. I’m often feeling in need of a fresh start and a little turn of direction by the time the present year is ending and getting stale.
This past year has had it’s share of burdens and not quite enough joy to balance that out. There has been the conflict of relationships we all know so well. The loss of friends for one reason or another, has left me feeling pretty lonely. The slow crumbling of my marriage this year has been at first distressing, then depressing, and now just mind-numbing. I’m really preoccupied with other things right now anyway. Like the seemingly constant battle with keeping the faith and a positive attitude for loved ones and known-ones with cancer. It seems to be overrunning the human race lately. At least in my circle. I’m traveling today, crossing the snowy mountains to support someone I love very much in that battle. Cancer is mean. Nasty. I hate it. I love so many people who have to deal with it, I can’t bury my head on that one, unlike the marriage thing.
I’ll be glad to see 2017 go. “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out” sort of glad. It was a demoralizing year.
2018 doesn’t scare me. There’s enough promise of good to excite a little anticipation for 2018. I feel we might be on friendlier terms than 2017, which wasn’t particularly good to me. Except that I did find out I have another half -sister, and the bonus of an uncle and two aunts. These are siblings of my father, a man I never got to know. 2017 did bring me those relationships, as well as pictures of my dad, which I have never had before. What a relief to have even one, but I have several now. He was beautiful. So, there’s that.
So, I leave 2017 in the dust, grateful for a few things, and shaking off quite a bit more.
A new attitude, and new resolve. I know I’ll need it, as my people still have cancer, and my kids still have their struggles, my neighbors still have troubles, my marriage is still on it’s last leg, but my God is still present. I know that I will face hard things this year, like you will. We all do. But I hope I’m going in to face it all strengthened, with more wisdom, resolve, and a little stronger faith to get me through. Hopefully something nice will happen. Maybe some lovely surprise, some beautiful inspiration. We all need hope. Something to look forward to can keep you going when it’s all looking pretty bleak.
Christians aren’t supposed to have those kind of troubles, right? I wish.
We still live in this nut-job world, and struggle with sin, lies we believe that tear us down, diseases, and emotional upheaval common to all people. I just pray as I’m wading knee-deep in the muck with all the rest of the shmucks I can do a little good for someone else.
Relieving another person’s burden surprisingly lightens one’s own. With Jesus everything is the opposite of what makes sense. Helping someone helps me? Yep. About the time I feel I’m drowning in misery and self-pity, if I can just reach out a hand to someone else I’ll save myself. Not by dragging them down here with me, but somehow it lifts us both up out of the ditch. Super natural. That’s one of my favorite things about Jesus. He’s always doing the unexplainable in the unsuspecting. So, I’m definitely on the look out for what He’s going to be up to in 2018.
I leave 2017 with a broken over right before Christmas dinner needs to be prepared, a broken dishwasher, two broken pellet stoves and a cold house, and a few broken relationships. Bring on 2018, I think I’ll kick it’s butt. After all, I’ve been watching YouTube videos on make-up and skin care for older women. I have all I need to know, right?
What about you? Glad to see the back of 2017 or sad to see it leave?