I Was Not Expecting This

Dear 2015,

I feel like I can sum you up in one line: “I was not expecting this.”

You didn’t have the earth-shattering pain like 2014 but you were a constant stream of hard. You started with the hope of an old love, another chance at our story, and within the first 10 days you devolved into screaming matches at a bar and lack of butterfly confessions.

You started out hard.

And you continued to be hard.

It felt like the relentless crashing of waves against a tiny boat lost at sea.

But then you brought light in the form of another man, one who worked to show me how to be different and love different and care different. I found myself keeping my eyes zeroed in on Jesus. In a way I had never experienced.

And he left too. And I began the process of picking up the pieces and fighting to find my truth. Something I didn’t always do well.

The waves continued to crash against this tiny little boat, stretching the seams to capacity.

And then, my body gave out.

My body and my emotions and my heart decided they couldn’t do it anymore. I had spoken death over my life for so long, my body began to die.

And the boat capsized and I felt like I was floating in a vast ocean with no life raft, no one to hear my desperate cries for help, and a forgotten knowledge of how to swim.

I was drowning.

Light came in the form of a naturopath who sifted through the pieces and the found the root of my death. And Papa showed up to keep revealing over and over the truth of my life.

baby, I confess, I was not expecting this
baby, I admit, I got used to loneliness

So I stumbled across life and hope and the safety of my Papa. He reminded me that I am a painting, with each brushstroke intentional and unique, and that no person walking by gets to critique the value of the painting. I’ve allowed two very specific people to admire the painting, consider it, walk away, and determine the painting is worthless because they failed to know why the Painter created it the way He did. Papa in His infinite kindness and love has given me the reminder to wait for the one who knows the Painter and thus understands the painting.

I have been waiting for someone like you

So I wait. With joyful anticipation of things to come, while I peel away the layers of what was and who I’ve been. I’ve seen my health respond in direct proportion to this processing and truth finding. Good days becoming increasingly more and days of pain and fatigue becoming surprisingly less.

In the middle of it all, 2015, the thing I can say I saw the most is two fold — the consequences of our sin on the people around us and the beauty of community when we let them love us.

This year I have had a front row seat to the damage of how people treat one another. Specifically when it comes to relationships. I have seen how words and actions and reactions have caused immense pain to people I care about. I have seen how selfishness can destroy everyone who it comes in contact with. I have seen vows broken, hearts shattered, and wounds sliced deep.

I’ve experienced it from far away and from very close up. I have seen my own heart become shrapnel in the grenade of sin. And I’ve also been the one to commit these selfish and hurtful acts.

But what I’ve seen beyond that is the extravagant love of community.

I have seen people rally around me through heartbreak and health issues and confusion and pain and joy and love and laughter. My arms have been held up when I’ve been too weak to stand, the prayers of my heart interceded on my behalf when I had no words to say, and the gift of being cared in ways I have never allowed.

Frankly, I saw the Gospel come alive this year.

So, 2015, you were hard. You were unrelenting. You broke me down. You stripped me bare. You took everything — my relationships, my hopes, my finances, my dreams, and my body.

But you gave me the hope of Glory in return. You gave me a depth of love and empathy I didn’t know was possible. You showed me your splendor and beauty. You walked me out of darkness and lies into light and truth. You wrapped me in gentleness and kindness.

I never saw you coming. Any of you.

I love you for all that you were and are and have been, but for now, I’m ready to spend these last 10 days quietly soaking up the love of family. I’m ready to retreat into myself and find the things ahead that the Lord has for me.

There are pieces of 2015 I will carry in to the new year. Sharp edges and beautiful glass. People whose name I did not know, even 6 weeks ago. There will be no expectations of things to come or situations to resolve but only a hope and a longing for the freedom of Christ in every and all moments.

And with that, 2015, I bid you a bittersweet farewell.

 

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