“We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us, we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.” – C.S. Lewis
Jay and I are growing into homebodies who don’t like to go out and party, like ever, but especially on on New Year’s Eve. Long gone are the days of staying up and ringing in the new year with friends and noisy parties. New Year’s Eve has become a day of junk food, movies, and barely staying awake for the ball to drop. One more thing: for the past eight years, it is a day to reflect on the past year and capture it in a post. Unfortunately, these past years seem to have been competing to earn the title of “The Worst Year Ever” and each year clinching the title. Until now. I can’t even say how grateful I am that I finally had a year that wasn’t the ultimate champion. So what was this year? This year was one of resignation. Not Joy, not relaxation, not hope, but surrender. While I would have loved a year of celebration, I am content with a year free from tragedy and registering lower in heartache scale than the years that proceeded it.
2017 was a year of accepting that our family is much smaller, and we will forever be missing people at our table.
2017 brought the realization that our children are growing up, moving out, and moving on. Maybe they aren’t out-growing us, but our time “raising” children has a shelf life of only a few more years.
2017 brought the letting go of dreams we had for our kids that they didn’t have for themselves. This was the hardest one for me.
2017 brought the letting out of so many words that I had stored up both in my soul and in text messages as I wrote the first draft of a memoir chronicling the loss of my mother.
2017 brought surrender to God’s plan for our family’s life, a plan that in his mercy He did not reveal ahead of time.
2017 brought reflection into who I am in Christ, regardless of any earthly relationship, position, or belief. I’m not confident in who I am, but I’m learning to lean into Him.
This year wasn’t my favorite of all years, but giving in to the life you have is easier than the turmoil that comes with fighting it. Resignation is different than giving up, although sometimes it feels the same. Resignation brings peace whereas giving up brings hopelessness. And while I wouldn’t say this was a peaceful year, I will say that I’ve experienced more peace this year than I have in a long time. Surrendering to the idea that God’s plan looks very different from my own plan, and grieving dreams of a life I do not have are not easy, but they do lead to something far better. Resignation is just a step in my journey. It isn’t sexy or glamorous, but it’s where I’m at, and I feel okay with that.
A lot of years I write about my hope for next year, but I’m not going to do that. I have no idea what next year will bring or what God has planned for me, and I have no desire to even dream about that. I am resigned to whatever it is, and that seems like a good way to enter a new year.