Tonight, I was just mulling about. New Year’s Eve with very young children looks different than it used too (maybe).
Who am I kidding – since College Football moved to the Playoff Era I have spent most New Year’s Eves for a decade watching football all day and night…and yes, more times than not cheering on the Tide (which is where you will find me tomorrow).
But as I sat twirling the EnRoute wine in my glass, I thought ‘uh, I wonder what 2024 has in store. I mean, pun intended, here but where am I EnRoute too this next year?’
Then as I sometimes do, my memory tried to recall past New Years. I looked at Scott candidly and said, “this will be our fourteenth New Year’s Eve but only one really stands out to me.”
Scott: “Which one?”
Me: “2019 – at our friends New Year’s Eve Party”
Me: “Because of the uncertainty that I knew was ahead.”
(side note: can’t the unknown be terrifying if we sit in it?…better to just get on up and move on, no?)
I remember being full of trepidation, this feeling of wanting to stay tethered to 2019 because at least this ‘terrible new normal’ was now known. February, so close to the New Year, always coming as the second month of the year was known but the outlook for Townes, our firstborn son, was not. The certainty of his outlook was more dark than light – his health veering him closer to terminal than not. And at this point, I didn’t even know “transplant” could be on the horizon.
“But more than that, I remember that you responded with a certainty, a confidence in what we were hoping for (Hebrews 11: 1—3) – you said simply, ‘this year will be amazing – you will see. Trust me.’”
And you know what?
Was it Easy? No
Was it tearless? No.
Was it full of the unexpected? Absolutely – hello worldwide pandemic.
Did I experience fear and doubt? Unfortunately.
Were there moments I was scared? Yes.
Did I experience grief, sadness and everything in between. Yes.
Was there joy? Yes.
Unexplainable peace? Yes.
Did we experience love like we had never known? Yes!
Did we learn how to advocate on behalf of our son and ourselves with the Lord as our guide? Yes!
Did we learn the benefits of receiving? Yes!
Did we watch prayers, both big and small, be answered? Yes!
Did we witness a community of believers step forward to fill the gaps for us? Yes!
Did the Lord present us (Scott, always being more aware) with opportunities to love others? Yes!
Ultimately, would I change it given the chance to go back to New Year’s Eve of 2019? NO.
But doesn’t hindsight do that?
So, if you find yourself in a place of uncertainty today, it’s okay. Me too.
Isn’t that what makes the New Year something to be both excited and nervous about?
But here is what I have come to know to be true: God is who he says he is.
The GREAT I AM (Exodus 3:14) –
He is never changing (Malachi 3:6) –
He doesn’t shift with the shadows or dimming light (James 1:17-18) –
He is bigger than your circumstances (Isaiah is full of great reminders of this – 55 & 41)
He catches all your tears and holds you heart in his hand (Psalm 56:8 – too good not to share “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each in your book”)
But things I often need to remember and focus on in times of uncertainty, stress, and unknowns are that God is a rescuer, redeemer, giver of all good gifts, provider, healer, a friend, consistent, and ultimately, he is known.
Scripture illustrates the heart of our Father over and over again.
Sometimes, I ask myself ‘how did I let myself get so distracted?’
Well honestly, it’s easy…too much at my fingertips between google, social media, email, my to-dos, and the list goes on as my “mom brain” runs through a thousand different things in any given moment but if I can find time to slow down…the answers to anything I need I can find.
Or at the very least…seek and ask, and if things get dicey, KNOCK (on repeat)! Matthew 7:7-12
This year, I want to root myself to John 20:29 when Jesus was talking to Thomas, “Then Jesus told him, ‘You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.’”
I pray to experience Jesus more this coming year. To have more revelation on his heart for his followers, to see more people whom he loves come to know him, to see broken hearts mended, to see desperate situations absolved, to see financial burdens lifted, to see afflictions healed, to witness ongoing miracles, and to hear more and more people proclaim his goodness…but in the waiting may the Holy Spirit encourage me and remind me that Jesus, himself, said ‘blessed are those who believe without seeing’
The Holy Spirit. What a gift Jesus gave us when he ascended to heaven after his resurrection (Acts 2) – so tonight, I pray for you. I pray you will have the courage to be bold in your requests of the Lord in 2024 and in this boldness that you also hold a confidence that his word is true. I pray that the Lord reveals more of himself to you and that you experience so much of his goodness you proclaim 2024 was a year that the impending uncertainty was worth it and that ultimately you wouldn’t change it either.
Inspire Hope –
P.S. Townes has entered a very sweet phase in the last few weeks. The 3nager seems to have minimized and his sweetness has come back to the surface. Just tonight he took my hand and lifted it to his face and said “I love you mommy.”
While Ella Jane wasn’t feeling well, he showed such compassion and empathy. And who knew, he is trying to dress himself and fix his own breakfast (thanks to the new stool he got for Christmas). He loves learning and school and I am constantly amazed at what he teaches me.
He ‘out logic’d me 2x in one day’ recently which does not bode well for me in the years to come. It even made me re-think how I respond and ultimately negotiation (prayers please)!
This Christmas was everything I could have ever dreamed as he asked to watch The Grinch so many times and make sugar cookies. Sweet memories I am forever thankful.