Hallenewyear, Amen.

I have started and deleted this post 3 times.

First, trying to play it cool, I wrote a line about how I don’t know what is expected in these end-of-the-year blog posts that everyone writes, but here goes…

Then I made a joke about how we barely made it across the finish line of 2013, parched, panting and digging our nails into the ground as we crawled to January 1st, 2014…

but, you know, that was just me being lazy, trying to come up with something to say; my second attempt, especially, was a borrowed and regurgitated sentiment, one that rolled off my tongue without truly capturing what is on my heart…

so let’s start again, shall we?

From an objective standpoint, I suppose you could say that this past year has been the most challenging we’ve ever faced. There were days when I didn’t know how we were going to juggle everything, how we were going to afford everything, and honestly, how we were going to survive and still be allowed to call ourselves Christians; 2013 will forever be branded upon my brain as the year of the puppy, the baby and the back surgery.

Actually, that’s not true. My brain no longer has the capacity to have anything branded upon it. By the year of 2015, someone will ask me when Baby Shepherd was born or when Mr. Gore had his spinal fusion and I’ll stare at them blankly and blink rapidly while I will myself to remember…anything. My name…my political affiliation…what’s for supper…who’s Jake?…

But you get what I’m saying.

2013 was intense.

But sitting here in my room on New Year’s night, and looking back in reflection, it feels less like a difficult year that stands out in a series of not-so-difficult years…

and more like…

another year full of grace-for-each-moment.

Just like 2012.

And 2011.

And 2010…

and every year that we have been held firmly in the hand of the Lord.

Which, if I understand the theologies correctly, encompasses eternity past, present and future. Brother Spurgeon, am I right, or am I right?

Our struggles in 2013 might have been unique compared to any we have walked through before, but that in no way changed the fact that God worked every detail of life for our good and for His glory. The days were incomprehensibly challenging, but He handed them to us very gently, and love and peace and joy were around every corner, even in the hallways of the hospital…

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I guess what I’m trying to say is that, in my ever-increasing age, I am beginning to realize that life is a series of days is a series of moments, and every year has its share of struggles and suffering, just as every year is interlaced with beautiful, abundant graces. And at the heart of all of it is a Creator who is much more involved in the minutia of our daily life than we ever give Him credit for. He measures our blessings and our sufferings so expertly, you’d think He was the God of the Universe or somethin’.

That, my friends, was the most roundabout way ever to say this: our God is good.

Even in 2013.

Especially in 2013.

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~

Happy New Year!

2 thoughts on “Hallenewyear, Amen.

  1. How is your hubby doing? I had fusion surgery when Claire was 9 months old. I honestly grieve those months because I couldn’t lift her from that point on. It took me an entire year to feel somewhat like myself again. It is a hard surgery! I have thought of you guys a lot since I knew he was going into surgery. Much love, Kathryn

  2. This has me in tears. I’ve felt this weird pressure (self-induced) to reflect on 2013 and somehow give it this grand label. Was it good or was it bad? You’ve said what I KNOW is true. It had it’s moments….just like all the years before. Some good, some bad. Some inexplicably challenging. Some just washed in peace and joy. But ALL the moments had Him. In all of them….He is good.

    Thank you, ever so much, for this lovely summary. It’s the best year-end post I’ve read.

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