This is a New Year's Day post, but I should warn you now lest you throw rocks at me later, this post is not actually about Charlie Brown. Or Snoopy. Or even Linus and his soft, ratty blue blanket. Ainsley and I are huge Peanuts fans, so I found it fitting. Okay, moving on...
Traditionally, I write a New Years Day blog post. Most years I can be contemplative about the nature of a new year and those dreaded resolutions we all make and break. I can usually sum up the previous year with the statement, "I survived...thank God that year is in the past." But not this year. This past year has been one of the best of my life. The precious things of this year were found when I stepped out of my comfort zone...when I was brave and trusted. The most beautiful of all was completely unexpected.
But today, as the old year is gone and the new is beginning, I have more questions than answers. Uncertainty hovers over every area of my life. Just like my strange cup of coffee sitting next to me, with fat free creamer and two Splendas floating in it instead of my usual quarter cup of cream and sugar due to my new health regimen in 2012, change is in the air. I honestly do not know what the future holds. I am okay with that uncertainty for once in my life. Maybe I am finally learning to surrender my control tendencies...if true, that is a very good thing.
2011 was my year to be redeemed. That was the word God spoke to my heart many times these past twelve months. I just looked up that word and found:
redeem: to buy back, to get or win back, to free from what distresses or harms, to free from captivity by payment of a ransom, to release from blame or debt, to free from the consequences of sin, to change for the better, to atone for.
Wow. I want to cry. Yes, that is exactly what Jesus did for me this past year...he redeemed me. All my past regrets, my bad choices, all the broken parts and holes inside of me caused by others' carelessness, selfishness, apathy and poor decisions...he held me together and stitched me back whole. I was talking to a friend this morning about surrender, and I realize now it was only in finally surrendering all the past pain and junk to Jesus that he could come in and redeem. I know he could have done this in me sometime during the past twenty-six years...I took the long walk up to the altar at nine years old to ask Jesus into my heart...if I'd only been willing to let him into the deep places of my heart. I thought I had let him in, thought I had given him every part of me. But I hadn't. I mourn when I think of how much time I have wasted on regret. But all the lost pieces of me are now found, nothing is missing. Honest though: I still struggle with surrender. Perhaps I am more stubborn or rebellious to authority than others. I am working on this too.
I wanted to end this New Year's post with a song. I came across this video which I believe sums up 2011 for me. I love the teenagers in it, their hope and smiles. I admire their courage in showing the deep hurts and struggles they face. I know some of my readers may not understand this post or the video. It's okay. All of life is a process, especially the journeys our hearts take. Thank you for your openness to my words and I hope they might be a conduit to bring something good into your life in the future.
Watch the video please. And I want you to ask yourself...if I was given a piece of cardboard and a black Sharpie today, what would I write on it? Be honest with yourself please, nobody's seeing this but you in your own mind. Then I want you to envision the other side...flip it over in your mind. It is still blank. But what would you want it to say? Feel whatever your heart is saying to you, don't dismiss your feelings or deep longings. Ponder it, won't you?
Here's to new beginnings. I value each of you so much. Thank you for continuing to read my clumsy words.