A few short weeks ago, I looked out my bedroom window to a magical display of winter wonderland imagery– a yard covered in freshly fallen snow without any footprints, and ice crystals shining in the morning sun. With school and work closings, the day seemed filled with endless possibility. Like a new book unopened and waiting to be read, I couldn’t wait to dive in and see what potential awaited me.
It is the same feeling I experienced as the clock ticked away and 2018 began. 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days of uncharted territory just waiting to be explored. And while I no longer make resolutions (maybe it is because we’ve learned it’s a sure way to fail at them), I still feel the excitement of refocusing, redirecting, and starting new.
Clearing the calendar
It has been a little over a year since my fingers found their way to the keyboards and filled the screen with thoughts. I’m one of those over-schedulers – you know the type – we’re the people who believe if we pack our calendars full enough, we will be given more hours in the day. Hasn’t happened yet. And as the firework display to bring in the new year filled my night sky, I decided there were slots in my day I needed to remove. I’ve learned one of the most important parts of making plans and goals is removing pieces in life that no longer need to be there.
There are times in life when we need to let go; times when we need to rest; times when we need to switch directions; and times when we simply need to grasp who we were created to be.
In the early 90’s I heard the words from my doctor “emergency surgery” and “complete bedrest.” At the time, I was 22 weeks pregnant with a baby boy we’d later name “Benjamin,” and I had a full-time job with a dynamic law firm in Florida. It doesn’t stop there. My oldest child was 2 ½ and the next in line was 15 months. But upon hearing the news, saving my unborn child outweighed any struggle I could have and off to bed I went. There is something very humbling about having to clear one’s calendar.
We didn’t have a lot of money, and losing my income meant daycare was no longer feasible. My days were spent in my bedroom with a child proof gate at the door, toys for my toddlers, and food and juice by my bed. To this day, I cannot fathom how we survived – but we did.
Looking back on that time, I realize God was positioning me for what would lie ahead. Not in the near future, but years down the road. Friends and family made themselves available to us. And while all seemed hopeless, God’s faithfulness gave me a glimpse into how very much He loved and cared for His people. Months later I gave birth to a 9 pound 6-ounce baby boy – who is now expecting his own little baby boy in June.
In it to stay
During that period in my life, I became closer to God than ever before – a closeness that continues today. He taught me what I was capable of handling; He also taught me, He is in it to stay. No matter the changes which come into our lives – and they will. No matter the trials, struggles, and hardships, He doesn’t turn His back, switch directions, or even look away from us. He is ever present – real – in it forever.
There are times in life when we need to let go; times when we need to rest; times when we need to switch directions; and times when we simply need to grasp who we were created to be. Life has God’s handwriting all over it and His Words are the sure thing, we just have to choose to believe in them.
Take the time to enjoy the newness of the year. Reflect on where you’ve been. Focus on where you are going. And above all, acknowledge Who is by your side – an ever present, loving, faithful – God.