New Year’s is always a time for reflection upon the previous year, and anticipation over the year to come. What will we accomplish in the new year? How will our lives change? Looking back on the old year, what did we accomplish, and how did our lives change? I ask these questions every year and I usually enjoy looking back on the old year and finding highlights. However, this year, I don’t want to do that. While I have been ready for a new beginning before, I have never, in my memory, been so glad to be rid of an old year.
2017 was a beating.
It must be stated, for the sake of honesty, that there were plenty of good moments last year, that I will treasure forever. Plenty of defining moments that were significant and character developing.
Relationships were solidified
Bonds grew tighter
New life was made
Cities and organizations came together to help each other in a time of crisis
The impossible became reality
I experienced new places and experiences that both enriched my life and made me grow as a person.(Traveling to New York and Broadway, being in charge of auction and having to get it set up when my partner got sick, signing up for Medicaid and going to prenatal visits, seeing my son through an ultrasound, etc.)
I am (or will be) be grateful for 2017. For the good experiences as well as the trying times and the way I grew and am continuing to grow (albeit very reluctantly) as a result of them.
That said, I am SO glad 2017 is over with.
Also in 2017:
Dreams were crushed
Lives were turned upside down, shaken, not stirred, and set down to dizzily navigate a new path
Jobs were lost
Homes we lost
Locations were changed
Friends were separated
Goals were made and not met – both because I was unable to meet them and because I simply gave up
Matthew and I were separated for the better part of four months.
2017 was a yucky, yucky year and it has left me reeling and trying to find my bearings. I realize that, in perspective, my trials have been minor in comparison to those who lost their homes in Hurricane Harvey. I try to keep that in mind when I find myself wallowing in self-pity. I do not mean to downplay their trials, or make it seem as though mine are on the same par. This is my response and attempt to process my personal trials from last year.
Things are beginning to slow down now, but they will start spinning again in a month or less when my son is born. 2017 has forced me into a place where I have no choice but to take life one day at a time.
My son will be born.
That is both exciting and terrifying. That one event, in and of itself, is going to change my entire life…again. More about my feelings on that in another post.
Everything else new that may or may not happen seems to hinge on this one event, and it is the only thing I know for certain about this year. There are many changes ahead, most of which I cannot fully prepare for because each possibility hinges on another possibility that may or may not happen.
There are many things I would like to happen, but I have no way of knowing if they will at this point, and no way to make them happen. Honestly, last year has made me afraid to make plans, and the uncertainty of where (in any sense of the word) we will be in a year has made me hesitant to put down roots.
2018 is not without its difficulties, friends. But I know this:
I am ready to move past 2017 and let it stop defining my attitude on life.
I want this, but at the same time I feel crippled by this because I still have days when I am driving to work and I have to give myself a firm talking to in order to keep from crying at the unfairness of 2017. I would like to know for certain what will happen. What will happen with school? Jobs? Housing? Location? Also, Parenthood?! When will, how will, what will?
How can I move on with so many questions? I don’t know that I fully can.
Regardless, my attitude needs to change.
There are many possible things that could happen in 2018, and just as many chances that something else will happen instead.
I have no way of knowing which combination of events will occur. But I know this, I need to give up my need to control the situation (because, let’s face it, I have no control over my situation) and trust that God has a plan for me that will be way better than anything I can come up with.
In spite of all that has happened, He has not left me. He has made me uncomfortable and He has forced me to grow, and, I will be completely honest, I have not liked Him for it. I have been the angry teenager pouting in her room after losing an argument with her parents. Deep down I know they have my best interests in their heart, even though I don’t see it right now. Eventually, I have to decide whether to continue fighting against them, accomplishing nothing but more misery, or relinquish my control and open myself up to the possibility that they know better than I do.
So here is my prayer for 2018:
Father, help me to give up control and open myself up to your will. Change my heart so that I will be happy to go wherever you lead me. Change my desires so that they line up with your will for my life. Take away my anxiety over the future, and replace it with hope and contentment. Thank you for always taking care of me and showing me in little and big ways how much you love me.