Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A Word for the New Year

December 30, 2008

This is the last writing for 2008 – a most memorable year. Much has been said. Much has been left unsaid. The New Year is coming and there is much to do. There is part of me that wants 2008 back –all the care, the time around her bed, the smell of her freshly washed hair, the visits, the prayerful waiting together, holding her hand, the fellowship of clinging to the hope that she might be miraculously cured. And there is part of me that, as along as I live, will never stop wanting her back– her joyful presence among us, healthy and well. Our whole family will always want that, but know it is not possible and so must work this year to learn more about acceptance, hope, identity, survival, and maybe even some joy.

So, on Christmas Day, we flew away to the desert to begin the re-identification of our family. We enjoyed golf, the spa, dining out, sightseeing, and warming by the pinion fires. We sang “Happy Birthday” over the phone to Owen working in Idaho and sent him pictures of giant cactuses and ourselves acting happy. Every night we looked up at the bright stars and every morning, watched the sun rise over the desert mountains. Sometimes it felt more like work than a vacation, but it was a step toward the New Year.

For as long as I can remember, Dr. Feelgood has selected a “theme word” for the New Year. Words like discipline, focus, champagne and candlelight (not his best choice for 2008, but I am hoping he will try that one again!) come to mind, just to name a few. Last year, I joined him and selected a word of my own – light. It served me well and offered its glimmer on my darkest day of the year – September 12th. God’s Word was a “lamp onto my feet and a light onto my path”.

And with that light to guide, I have decided this year that my word will be “work”. That may sound simple to some who have regular jobs with descriptions that keep them on task “9 to 5” and provide a lifestyle. But I am thinking of a more difficult kind of work. For me, it is the work of grieving a loss and moving through it, discovering new steps I need to take in order to become productive and contribute to my world in ways that have worth – not just for something to do, or for my bank account, or someone else’s approval, but for God’s glory.

Maybe it has not been your best year either. Some of you have journeyed so very closely that you are as grief-stricken and exhausted as I am. And yet, there is exhilaration in our experience of loss, knowing that God came near in 2008 and made Megan new eternally - forever. I will not ever understand this mystery of faith, but I cling to it and am grateful for the hope it provides. It will be enough in 2009.

And because I did not send Christmas cards or write the traditional letter, here is my copied New Year’s Greeting (author unknown – maybe God?) that I find rather wonderful. I will read it often as I work.

I Am The New Year
I am an unspoiled page in your book of time.
I am your next chance at the art of living.
I am your opportunity to practice
what you have learned about life during the past 12 months.
All that you sought and didn’t find is hidden in me,
waiting for you to search it out with more determination.
All the good that you tried for and didn’t achieve,
is mine to grant when you have fewer conflicting desires.
All that you dreamed but did not dare to do,
all the faith that you claimed but did not have –
these slumber lightly,
waiting to be awakened by the touch of a strong purpose.
I am your opportunity to renew
your allegiance to HIM who said,


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