Actually, she didn’t. No one really prepared me for where I am at this moment. Sure, I’ve had small glimpses, but I never expected to be here. 2011 was an arduous year, piled with painful self realizations, faith testing marital issues (I hear that’s what happens when two humans tie themselves to one another), and separating (to some extent) from the bulk of what has kept me a sane, functioning, Jesus filled person (Gainesville, all things InterVarsity, Debbie). But here I am, in 2012, wondering why no one told me this was coming! Shame on you all!
Ok, Catcher in the Rye moment aside, even if you told me, I probably wouldn’t have listened . In 2011 I was too busy stuffing my own victimization into the ears of my heart. I filled my very often, empty reflection times with trying to find escape routes from my past tragedies. I wanted a fix. I remember praying for a magical pause button. At 24 years old, I prayed that Jesus would plop down a game-boy sized life controller onto my lap giving me time to just understand what the hell had happened and was happening in my life. I spent a lot of time feeling defeated. I spent a lot of time just knowing that things would never get better. I spent way too much time asking ‘why?’ And now, here I am asking ‘how?!”
My heart was so jaded that it has been difficult to see the continuous work of the Lord’s hand in changing my heart, redeeming my past, restoring my mind and bringing peace to my soul. Today, and for the past 3 months, it’s as if everyday is morning. It took me a while to mourn the loss of my childhood, the loss of my ideal life, and now, it is morning. I have more than I have ever dared to dream for, and no one prepared me for this. The story of the blind man in Mark (8:22-25) is the only way that I can illustrate what Jesus has done to me this year. I must’ve gotten that really good, from the back of the throat kinda spit lol.
So, here I am, in my typical fashion, 5 days late, tryna think about New Years resolutions. I’ve slubbed around my apartment long enough, enjoying my break before school. Now, it is time to freakin live, doggonit. And that’s what I’m determined to do this year. I’m going to do the things that bring me life. I’m going to enjoy the good mornings with my husband. I’m going to reflect well and often on what a blessing he is to me, on the deep, incomparable, intimate friendship that I have with him. I’m going to laugh hard with him, I’m going to work on expressing myself more authentically, and I’m going to kiss him till his lips are chapped!
I’m going to dance every chance that I get. I’ve finally found a dance studio that challenges and nurtures me, and I’m going to be there, using my student discount every week till my toes bleed. And I’ll probably stay even when that happens.
I’m going to take advantage of all of the learning opportunities that I will gain while in school and during my internship. I am so proud of myself for getting into graduate school. I am the first to pursue a Master’s degree in my family. I haven’t allowed myself to feel proud, to feel empowered, to feel motivated by my success. Well, congratulations, sexy brain! You’re living beyond your dreams!
I’m going to move on. Partially because of who I am and partially because of my past, I’ve lived my life in a constant state of worry. This past year I have worried about my family, my damaged relationships therein, and making myself unhealthily vulnerable to the brokenness of others. I have learned this year that Jesus doesn’t need a sidekick. He is the one who heals; he is the one who convicts; he is the one who loves. All I need to do is follow Him, and learn to love while learning to love myself.
And finally, I am going to give thanks more often. When I think about the story in Mark, I think about those who brought the blind man to Jesus, who had to have hope that Jesus would give this man something that he’d been yearning for all his life, yet, had never known. I’m thankful for those who brought me through this year with their time to listen, their dedication to prayer, their arms and homes that brought comfort, their generosity, gentleness and hope. Thank you, Berry and Dawn, Scott and Haley, Alison and Ricky, Debbie, Rekha, Morgan, Karima. You took me to Jesus so that he could spit in my eyes lol.
So, bottoms up! Here’s to a new year of life! I’m ready to live the hell out of 2012. Literally.