Why hello, 2017. I’m so glad you’ve come.
Last year . . . last year was hard. Full of despair, depression, stress, loneliness. Good bye 2016, don’t let the door hit you on the way out.
With a new year, many people make resolutions. As for me, I am typically indifferent towards resolutions. My attitude is that if you like them and it works for you – go for it. I tend to be a pretty goal-driven person in general, so January 1st doesn’t feel special to me in that regard. Or at least it never had before.
I have a friend who uses One Word to focus on throughout the year, more of a reminder, or meditation instead of a resolution – words like Breathe, Wholehearted, Enough, Forward, and Badassery. That plan always sounded great to me, but I could never think of a word that struck me enough. Maybe I never needed a word badly enough.
But last year ran me ragged.
I drank champagne at midnight on the 1st with a weary heart. Tired, to the core, of fighting for my life. Tired of hating my job, tired of my own questions, tired of quieting negative voices in my head. But I drank that champagne, and I kissed my wonderful husband, and I had the tiniest flicker of hope in my heart that, maybe, this year just might be different.
And here I am, January 6th, and I have a word.
My word is Climb.
I’ve never literally fallen in a deep pit, but I imagine that if I did, the first moments would be spent just laying there, reeling from shock, trying to get my bearings, assess what is broken and what still works. That was how I would sum up 2016. I was in the pit. And almost as suddenly as I found myself in the pit, I seem to have found the strength to get up, a long-awaited answer to prayer.
But this Climb will happen with baby steps. First I have to dust myself off . . . bandage and tend to my wounds so they heal properly. That looks like praying, reading, stilling my heart, studying, talking, and worshiping. It looks like daring to hope. My 2017 miracle is that I woke up today with hope in my heart that I can climb out of this pit.
I will make hard decisions, choices, one at a time, over and over because they are good for me and lead to healing. I will go against my nature. (My nature last year told me to just lay there and die in the pit . . . what does it matter anyway?) Despite my bruised body and broken bones. I will choose to make and answer phone calls, and engage in conversations despite my social anxieties. I will choose to forgive and not cling to grudges that are holding me back from experiencing my own freedom. Baby steps. Onward. Upward. Climbing steady.
Was my time in the pit useless? God says no. God says he will make use of it. “For all things work together for those good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose. ”
“All of life is grist for the mill . . . Everything belongs; God uses everything. There are no dead ends. There is no wasted energy. Everything is recycled.” – R.Rohr.
I have learned much about myself this year – some good, some not so good. And I embrace these lessons as gifts that will help me grow – yes – but also as reminders that I am loved – I was loved – just a I am, even in the pit. And that Perfect Love is what spurs me to put one foot in front of the other and Climb. Truly it is my imperfections that make His perfect nature shine more bright. Lord, shine through me.
My first baby step is a healthier life. I have gained 15 lbs in the last year and a half since nursing school. I am tired all the time and I know it’s because I eat crap. Food has been my reward for putting up with life. But I want to enjoy life, not just put up with it, so I am making baby steps for my health. Climbing up to a life of energy.
My second baby step out of this pit is in regards to my job, but I will write more about that later.
Do I expect the climb to be easy/seamless? Of course not. Climbing is full of uncertainty: where do I put my foot this time? Where do I grab? Sometimes you fall backward and have to start all over. I’m praying for the strength to keep on pressing forward, continuing in hope.
Wherever you are today, I hope that you have hope. That you know you are loved, just as you are. Whether you are lying on the floor of a pit or soaring high above the clouds. I pray you too will find the strength to climb.
Happy New Year, friends.