As I look back over my list of things I hoped to accomplish in 2014, I realize that in asking for some of those things, I had no way of knowing how those things would be accomplished.
Some of them fell flat.
I had hoped to have my next book ready for publishing.
I had planned on letting my hair grow to chin length.
If you’ve seen recent pictures of me, you know that unless my chin has moved to the top of my head, that didn’t happen either.
There were numerous other things that did or didn’t happen, but that, in the scheme of things, make very little difference either way.
But the biggie on my list was hard to miss.
“By January 1 of 2015, I hope to see my heart healing.”
It was a broad statement put to paper, but I thought I knew what it meant.
Silly me. I didn’t have a clue.
I didn’t know that healing meant turning inside out and upside down. I had no idea that the twists and turns of circumstances would pierce like needles but would help to sew me back together again.
How was I to understand that all the yanking and churning and burning in me was serving to rework me by removing, clarifying and then adding things that a broken heart needs to mend?
Why didn’t I remember that every difficulty, every tear shed was chosen to complete a healing that could only be had through brokenness?
Every backward situation somehow propelled me forward, my fists unfurling into open-handed surrender.
Fear bled out, screaming all the way and when it did, something glorious filled in that aching, gaping, bloody hole.
New faith with baby fresh eyes that began to see things as if for the first time. Truths of scripture and promises of Jesus that put on the pants of my reality and showed me not just the beauty but the grit of those words. Truths and promises that tested out in flying colors against the background of my painful trusting.
Healing, which I had naively thought looked like soft dressings and bandages and Fatherly kisses, played out more like stinging antiseptics and sharp bladed scalpels.
But, oh, the sweetness of the still-pink scars. Reminders of the process that has led to deep, rich wholeness. Imperfect, soft bumps that both heal the heart and keep humble the soul.
And so today, January 1, 2015 I can smile through happy, grateful tears.
My book incomplete.
My hair only centimeters from my scalp.
And my heart beating, healthy, whole and stronger than ever, thanks to the Lover of my soul.
The difference a year can make….
Praise the Lord, oh my soul and forget not all his benefits – who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.