It’s early morning, December 31, 2012. I’ve waved goodbye to good friends that came to stay with us last night and I’ve had two cups of coffee already. I’ve just finished the first chapter in ‘Help Thanks Wow,’ which turns out is half the book, and Anne’s words are like a balm on my scabbed heart. It stings a little, all this talk about asking for ‘Help,’ but at the same time, this whole morning is a miracle and I know it in the sorest places of my soul. I soak it in quietly, and like turning the page to a new chapter on printed page and in life, I utter a profound, teary ‘Thanks.’
This is the Help I’ve been asking for – this mug, this morning, this time spent with friends who have saved my life in a hard year. I look back on 2012 and see all of it, the hurt and the Help, over and over. The grief and the Grace, in all its forms. I am so grateful.
A lot of Change took place in 2012. I was given several opportunities to share my writing on larger platforms like Prodigal Mag and RELEVANT, I discovered a life-giving community of other writers and bloggers, I made the move to a new blog space and attended STORY Conference.
My husband has a full-time job for the first time ever and we’ve finally found a church community that we can invest in – both of which are enormous answers to our many desperate pleas for Help over the past five years.
My family has survived this strange new life without my mom, and we had a wonderful Christmas together – strange and sad moments notwithstanding – and in some ways, that is the most radical miracle I can think of.
There were other changes too, internally speaking. Grief, I warn you, is a fickle thing. One day I would have the energy to write 2,000 words and clean my apartment and roast a whole chicken. The next, I was going home from work early to read old journal entries and cry myself to sleep. There were days when I was ambitious and accomplished, and whole stretches of time when I was burnt out, uninspired, pissed off at the world. Sometimes I am truly grateful for my grief, for the way that it has woken me up to life, for the words it gives me and the Grace that it reveals. Sometimes I hate grief, and hate myself for it, and I hate everyone else who doesn’t have to deal with it.
The whole experience, every begrudging, blessed part of it, is changing me, teaching me to slow down, helping me to seek the Change that really matters, which is Grace. Grace for my hyper-vigilant, over-ambitious, work-in-progress self. Grace for all the change taking place in others.
That’s okay, honestly. It doesn’t matter how many plans I make or arbitrary resolutions I conjure up; it will all turn out differently than I imagine.
So if my One Word for 2012 was Change, I want my One Word for 2013 to be Faithful.
I have some big opportunities coming in 2013, ones that I know of for sure, and ones I can’t see yet. No matter which way the pendulum swings and what happens in my life over the next year, I want to be faithful. I want to be faithful to the Change that is always at work in our lives, to the Grace that keeps showing up in the midst of our grief, to the Help that answers all our hurt.
I want to be faithful to His faithfulness in me.
What do you hope for in 2013? What is your One Word for the year, and why?