Looking Back and Dreaming Forward…
There is a day and a half left in 2013. Tomorrow night, I will celebrate with people whom I love and sing a song to which I don’t totally know words. I will drink champagne. I bought a new shirt. I will laugh and reminisce. I will try not to have too high of expectations on the evening so I don’t end up disappointed and annoyed.
2013 was a tough and a wonderful year. In terms of tough…My Dad got cancer. My Grandaddy went to heaven. I have joy for him…I am heartbroken for me. My precious friends daughter was diagnosed with cancer on the day my Dad’s chemo ended. Another precious friend, whom I love deeply, was given a second diagnosis of cancer. If you have read anything that I have written in the last year, you know that I HATE cancer. In terms of wonderful…I went into private practice. I learned that I can have money in both my savings account and my checking account at the same time. I was able to spoil those around me this Christmas. I moved through my fear of flying…thanks to therapy and prayer. I can now look down at the clouds below. I missed that window seat.
As I look back, I am aware of how much healing I have done this year. God led me to a therapist who is a gift to me. I like myself. Not all of me…I still have so many areas that need work. Yet, I like me. I laugh more. I cry more. I need more…in a beautiful way. I am kinder to others and myself. My presence and time with my clients has deepened. I sit in questions with less fear….and am learning to BE when there are no answers. I fight to trust God with my story and the stories of those I love…even when I can’t see what he’s doing, or hate it.
As I look forward, my heart feels light and heavy simultaneously. Light due to the fact that I love my life and am deeply grateful for ALL the people and blessings in it. I am truly blessed beyond measure. The heaviness is different…odd…I hope you will allow me a bit to explain it.
The world is broken. There are so many things to grieve in a day. How do I reconcile all that I have with the plight of those living in poverty and need? Almost every time I turn on running water, I wonder about people around the world who don’t have that. Where do I need to give my time and money? How do I live a life that engages with the pain that truly does exist in our world? I could turn on my TV and laugh and check out. I don’t want to do that all the time. I want my heart to be present with those who are hurting…yet, there is so much need and I feel the weight of that at times. What more can I do with my life to be a part of love and light to those who have little of those?
Also, for me, life is not what I hoped for. In times, it is MORE than I hoped for. Yet, there are parts that will never be what I dreamed of as a younger woman. How do I grieve that for which I longed and celebrate the beautiful things that ARE present in my life? I do need space to grieve the loss of hope and dreams. I don’t always know how to do both. I think it goes back to joy and pain. There are times when I live in the space between them well and sometimes I feel sad and scared in that space. Maybe not what you all expected from a dreaming forward post. I wish I was all rainbows and butterflies. Just not how I was built.
I will give you this. I do want to DREAM in 2014. I will make a list again of hopes and dreams for this coming year. Spain will be on that list. Loving others will be on that list. Photography…more travel…time with loved ones…all will be on that list. I hope that y’all will make a list for yourselves. What are your HOPES AND DREAMS for the coming year. Write them down. Put them somewhere that you can see them. Make room for celebrating and grieving. How will you give to others this year? How will you be gracious to yourself?
I will leave you with this…my prayer for 2014. Happy New Year to you all….
God…I don’t know what 2014 will hold. I have fear about it. I have joy about it. I won’t choose to sit in the fear and not live well. I will pray that you will help me to be present and authentic in each day of this year. I want to travel. I want to love. I want adventure and surprises. I want to be less selfish and to give of my time and resources to the people and places to which you call me. I want to practice sitting still more and overanalyzing less….I think it’s partly due to my calling/job and partly due to how I am wired. Either way, I would like to find the off button more. For those that I love, I pray that you would be so real in their stories and help them to sit in questions with you. I know how much you love them….but, in this world, it is sometimes hard to grasp when our hearts are so hurt and broken. I pray you would break through our stories, grab our hearts and help us to trust you when we truly can’t get their on our own. To be honest, our ability to do for ourselves seems smaller as I get older. I think the reality is that we need YOU in every second, but our pain and our histories cloud us from seeing you and make it difficult for us to trust you. I would be so grateful if 2014 would be the year of you breaking through our pain and our stories…in ways that we couldn’t fathom. I do love you…I am grateful for your love, hand and presence in my life. Please be gentle with me as I continue to question and battle fear. Help me to laugh, celebrate and live more. Help me to let go of control. Lord…overall, I want to be more peaceful, present, authentic, joyful and loving. May 2014 be a year full of moments with you and those that I love. Thank you for all you’ve done throughout my story thus far…With great anticipation, B.