My parents are still awake; Rosie is asleep on Dad’s lap. Midway is on the television screen and I exclaim every time another actor I recognize appears on the screen. Isn’t it funny how many actors come from America? We’ve already tasted our sparkling apple-grape juice and watched a lackluster football game. It seems like the year went that way too – starting off with a lot of pop and sliding into more of a “huh.”
I took a sort of vigil over lunch today at the big white house in Vienna. Perhaps you have your own big white house in Vienna…but if you’ve attended my church, then you know which house I mean. I ate my sushi from the car and stared at the long driveway, the new treehouses, and the lamppost that reminded me of Narnia. Was that there when my church friends and I ran about on dusky summer evenings? Did it ever confuse me during the many games of Capture the Flag?
I wish there could be a rule put in place that the end of a year always felt the same way. The end of this year has felt nostalgic. I’ve had more time to process this past week, though that processing has extended beyond just 2021. I’ve also spent more time in silence than is my normal habit. Is that maturity? My one roommate might say so. She is far better at appreciating silence than I am.
Change is spread out across the calendar as I look ahead to 2022. Church plants, new marriages, babies being born, friends moving away – none of these changes are out of the ordinary for a twenty-six year-old woman, but my heart still quickens and my brain wonders what will be steady throughout it all? Praise God for the Rock of my salvation.
I didn’t have expectations for 2021, but at the urging of a wise and older friend I am going to attempt setting goals for 2022. I dislike goals because they have often set me up for being disappointed in myself when I don’t accomplish them. It will be a challenge to remain compassionate with myself and those goals, but I’m going to set some and endeavor to keep them.
And we are still here. A toast and a firework and a worried dog later, I am still the same person I was two minutes ago. Lasting change and sanctification require more than a new date, but that’s okay.
I’m not sad in this moment, but that adjective prevailed this past week. Christmas Day was sobering and the coming weeks will be about the same. Grief settles in here and there, never letting you know when it will move on (if it ever does).
Praise God for my family and roommates, for my daily friends and long-distance friends and friends I don’t talk to but still adore because I have a big heart and small ability to communicate with more than a handful of people on a given day. Love lasts in the heart, but if it’s not backed up by action can it still be called love? Maybe it’s more affection at that point…
I’ll let you read The Four Loves and get back to me on how love should manifest in friendship. I want to be a better friend this year; most of us would probably say that, I assume? How many questions have I typed in this post? My favorite writer is coming out with a book this summer about questions and God and people. I must just be preparing for that release.
My body felt better this year, my heart only took a few l’s because of my own foolishness, and I continued to observe Yahweh’s protection in my life. I struggled earlier this year with understanding his holiness, but sovereignty is one that comes easily to my mind, even if it doesn’t always rest easily there.
The decade is two-years old. I am glad to turn twenty-seven this calendar year and apprehensive about all of the sweet changes that I know are coming my way. Can I be excited for the changes that will come but are not revealed to me just yet? Check back in twelve months and ask me the answer. Until then – seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God. You are His, and He is yours. Rest well in His love, my dears.