And so another year is quickly coming to an end – obviously time marches on – always, but I get to a point at the end of each year and wonder how time went so quickly and how it is that I’m nearly another year older! And here I am……. Wondering the same things again!!
The first blog of 2013 I spoke of its theme being “unrelenting bravery” and dear friends, let me tell you – there were many moments throughout this past year where those two words were the very motivation to keep me pressing on. Bravery. Unrelenting. Never giving up. Even in the midst of unknowns, uncomfortable realities, crazy moments of “what am I doing right now?”, and so many other times – my bravery was NOT facing a sickness, a huge trial, a painful reality, it was mostly my own personal fears that required me to STEP into something instead of shrinking back! There were tough moments and I can say that 2013 was a good year, but I am ready for it to say farewell!
So 2014… what will it be all about? If only I could see into the future and know what’s coming my way, sadly I am just like you and live in the present. This past week, I went to lunch with two very dear friends and as we sat and talked about 2013, we spoke of the past year and of the one coming, the things we were looking forward to, the challenges we know lie ahead and the things we are expectant of. The question came…
What’s the word for 2014?
Typically I freak out in those moments thinking I’m unprepared and that my made up answer will be seen as faulty and false… but the question came and I answered, knowing 100% that what I spoke was true.
2014 is about HOPE!
I got the approving nods and supportive smiles, as I knew I would. I sat explaining that – that HOPE – is not just a “hoping for” or a crossing of my fingers and wishing that things are better, or stay on-track or work out as I would like them to… but that HOPE, is the ACTIVE expectancy and belief that there WILL be and IS something different coming
The past few weeks there have been a few moments of revelation and perspective. One came during a weekend message at LCBC Church. Hebrews 12:12 “So take a new grip with your tired hand and strengthen your weak knees. Mark out a straight path for your feet…” I sat there gripped by those words.
TAKE A NEW GRIP!
Tears streamed down my face. Although this year has been about bravery, I had gotten to the place where I was exhausted by my “trying”… my trying to be brave, to smile when I was sad, to be happy in someone else joyous moment that I can’t understand isn’t mine, when being the best employee when the to-do list is just too much, when comparing my talents and opportunities with others falls so short, when jealousy runs rampant, when I fail miserably at being a great friend, when being a good daughter/sister/niece/aunt… human is just work!) I sat there helpless to even lift my hand to wipe my tears. My tired hands had let go – let go of making it “all” happen for everyone around me – and all they have left me with was my getting by, frustrations, emotional roller-coasters, exhaustion and surviving. I had become a master at being ok for everyone around me, but when I was alone, my ugly – tired self was all over the place and finding balance, centered, healthy focus was not a reality. I sat there that night – listening, trying to get my emotions under control but all that kept going through my head was; “Shauna, it’s time to take a new grip!” It wasn’t’ about bossing myself around, but the reality of that moment being a choice was obvious. Yes, I could choose to ignore that realization and let life – and a whole other year roll into the next, but I knew that wasn’t what my life is about!
So what does 2014 – a HOPE-filled year look like? I’m not sure exactly! And if I know myself at all, there will be moments where HOPE is the farthest thing from me. But there will be moments where HOPE is new. Where HOPE will come to life and all those tired, exhausted, frustrations will be met with grace, mercy… which will allow HOPE to spring anew.