Tuesday, March 4, 2014

2014: What Doesn’t Kill You…better start running.

Every year, starting around Thanksgiving, I get antsy for the new year.  I mean, I love Thanksgiving and Christmas, but when I’m standing in my kitchen, basting the turkey and wondering about the sicko who invented green bean casserole, I begin dreaming of January--when we’re past the holiday rush and repenting our goodie consumption (mea culpa!), pinning Fitspo and organizational tips on Pinterest. La-dee-da!

I love starting a New Year—and couldn’t wait to jump into 2014. I loved how others around me were excited, too. We were making plans to take 2014 by storm! The world is OUT THERE, and WE’RE RUNNING TO MEET IT!

I am lucky enough to be surrounded by amazing people every day who inspire me through their examples to be kinder, more forgiving, more perseverant, more helpful, thoughtful, and more full of wonder.  They remind me not to take myself too seriously. I love my amazing people and I am so grateful they are in my life.

We had plans. We were excited. We were READY to embrace the new!

But 2014 hit. HARD.

It’s barely March, and already, so many of my people have been piled up with profound losses and heartbreaks.  Nearly every day for the last two months, I learned of devastating things affecting friends and family. This is so not awesome. There are so many hard things. These things were not part of our plans!

I just want to scream and rage and pitch a fit at the unfair suckiness of it all.

I want to help, but in many cases, the only thing I can do is listen, pray, and cry with my hurting loved ones.

It solves nothing. But I hope it helps.

I firmly believe in a loving God, who wants us to return to Him. I firmly believe we have a Savior---Jesus Christ—who suffered and died for each and every person on Earth. I believe Jesus rose from the dead and lives again, so we can, too.  I believe we’re here---living our lives—to learn about the nature and purpose of God.  And part of that learning process involves dealing with pain and sorrow:

Learning to have faith when everything is falling apart.

Learning to forgive when we have been cut down and wounded.

Learning to find joy amidst the pain.

Learning to rely on God, who is perfect, and on each other, who are not.

Often, these are really craptastic lessons to have to learn. And not part of our plans! But I have faith that they are worth learning and that some day it will all make sense. Everything will be made right and whole…even if it’s not RIGHT NOW, dammit.

I don’t have solutions. But I offer my prayers, my tears, and my love. We are in this together—with enough arms and shoulders to carry each others’ burdens and lighten them.  In the midst of so much suffering, I have seen spectacular examples of grace and forgiveness. I have shared in the (dark) humor that keeps us laughing instead of crying. I have seen faith and love carry people across the country and into each others’ hearts.  I have seen prayers answered and hope born.

Together, my loves, we’ve got this.

2014, you got us down—this round. But we’re coming up swinging, and we’re gonna win.