It’s safe to say, almost-a-million times, that I’ve put off writing this post.
I’ve been aware for several weeks that I needed to sit down and, somehow, find a way to put 2014 into words.
Words that are honest but also bring hope. Words that remember but also look forward.
It’s proven to be much more of a challenge than I thought it would be.
But that’s ok. Today I’m finding you and my blog dashboard after an embarrassingly-late sleep in and two large mugs of coffee…and I think I’m ready to share.
So let’s get to it. Though I am extremely tempted to refill the coffee mug yet again before I chat. We’ll see. 😉
When I look back a year and read through some of the things I shared with you all, I realize something. I had so much hope for 2014.
That hope looked like a lot of things. Restoration in relationships, especially my marriage. Hopefully an addition to our family. Topping it all off with a book deal.
I like to dream big.
When I make that list of things, there is a certain semblance of failure that threatens to creep into my heart. And while I won’t let it creep in, the tears are definitely creeping toward the corners of my eyes, and I have to blink them back.
There’s so much I wanted from 2014…so much that wasn’t just NOT given, but was also taken. It’s easy to dwell on those things and let them define a year.
A year. The truth is that we had a packed year. A crazy one. A difficult one. And there was a lot of good in the middle of it.
This was the year we finally got to take our sweet girl to our second home. I still can’t stop the tears of joy when I think of the first time we introduced her to strawberry juice or she rode on a motorbike or she gave our beloved pembantu a hug. We had dreamed of being back in Indonesia as a family, and I still have to pinch myself when I remember that we actually got to go.
There were also some pretty sweet reunions with some of my favorite sisters. To steal a line from Logan…or was it Sarah Mae? 😉 It still blows my mind that the internet gave me some of my best friends. They are truly a gift, one I am so grateful for.
And part of me wishes I could just stop there so you could all see the good…but I know I need to keep going and keep it real. Because there are other pieces of the year that need to be shared…
And they SHOULD be remembered because they’re forever-pieces of the story He’s writing.
The hope our family had of another child broke to shards on a sunny July morning, and it has taken months to even begin to pick up the pieces. Our hearts still ache and the tears still fall, and while I will make no apologies for those things, I also know that I need to hold onto Hope and continue to walk forward. It’s there, even when I don’t see it, and I need to claim the promise that His plans for me are good ones.
We said a heart-wrenching goodbye in September to a beloved member of our family. It was a sudden, painful blow, and while there are so many good memories of the wonderful 11 years with our sweet boy, we just hurt. Still. And we accept that He gives and takes away, but that isn’t without tears. And those tears just have to be part of life for this season as we move forward and love the ones we hold in our arms.
And maybe a silver lining in all of this loss is that God has knit us closer together as a family and especially in our marriage. We have clung to each other as we’ve tried to cling to Him. God has deepened our marriage, forcing us to walk with Him together on the many, many days we don’t see. We love each other more deeply (though we can still argue with the best of them!) and we choose to walk this life together, now, more than ever…even if there are days when it’s tempting to throw it all away.
And we also hold on a little tighter to our girl, too…though she did give me a reminder the other day. Mommy, soon I’ll be too big for your arms! Never, my girl. Never. 😉
I’ve also watched Him take the book-writing dream and say a firm, No. That one…it’s hard to swallow. Writing and publishing a book has been so much of what I’ve let define me as a blogger…and yet, it’s not what He’s calling me to.
That makes me cry, kind of a lot. And yet, through so many things, I know He is just saying that it isn’t what I should be doing right now. I’m being called to a season of depth and connection, not building and branding. I’ve needed to let go…for awhile now. And as I’ve slowly accepted that and loosened my grip, I can’t tell you how much peace it’s brought. How much pressure it’s released.
And it’s also confirmed something in my heart.
You see, I want to tell my stories. I don’t want to sell them.
And so…you’re all going to be getting them this year. On the blog. Every Monday, I’m going to share one. Unedited, raw, heart-stories that come from a tender place in my soul from an unforgettable time in my life. Stories He gave me that I want to share.
I lived them, and so it’s time to tell them. I hope you’ll be back every week to read them.
Honestly, it’s easy to read all of this and and wonder how on earth so many paradoxes can coexist. In some ways I’m shaking my head…but mostly, I have to remind myself that I don’t see the whole picture. Oh, I’d love to…but alas. 😉
If I’m being completely honest here, it’s tempting to say (audibly AND loudly), See ya, 2014. Don’t let the door smack you too hard in the #!* on the way out!
Brutal honesty here, folks. 😉
And yet, I want to walk away from this year, knowing without a doubt that none of it was wasted.
I see it so much already…in the prospect of sharing my words for the simple fact that I can tell my stories, in expectantly looking forward to the good He holds for us, in the ways He is taking the heartbreak and making something beautiful from it.
It’s what I hope for in 2015.
Which brings us TO 2015…at least tomorrow. Will you come back? I want to tell you about the word He’s given me for the year.
It holds Hope, a different kind. One that I think He might be using to knit our hearts back together.
I truly love each one of you who have spent even a few seconds here. Thank you for that, from the bottom of my heart.
(And have a Happy New Year, my friends!)
I’m linking up at God-sized Dreams today as part of our One Year Celebration…seriously, can you believe it’s been a year?! We’re all sharing stories and updates from what God has done this year…so hop on over and join us.
I’m also linking up with my sweet friend, Kristin, for Three Word Wednesday.