Fresh starts, new days, cold mornings, dark nights, difficulty waking up, lack of discipline, dry itchy skin, unshaven legs, dirty snow…all things that remind me of January.
I don’t particularly like this month.
Trying to remember to change the last digit of the date for the first three weeks.
Trying to fit into clothes that should fit but don’t (thanks turkey and ham).
Trying to maintain routine by getting up early when the darkness and cold beg me to stay under my cozy down comforter, safe and warm.
But what if I stopped trying?
Stopped trying ON MY OWN.
Stopped making resolutions and started making desperate requests.
If there is anything I’ve learned from the year 2015 it’s that I am not in control.
Most goals and plans I’ve made this year have failed or led to different results than I planned for.
I resolved 2015 would be the year to buy a house.
We looked at many homes in 2015, but God closed each door gently behind us and shook his head. Not this one. Not that one. Not this one. It was emotionally draining and physically exhausting. I don’t know how many hours we spent looking only to decide to stay put.
While a few of those doors were painful to see close, we can see his provision in that now and couldn’t be more grateful that he directed us not to buy a home this year.
I resolved 2015 would be the year we bought a larger SUV.
After our summer vacation, I proposed that 5 hour trip should be the last road trip in our small ( very gas efficient and reliable) Toyota RAV4. So began the search for a larger SUV… until we borrowed my sister-in-law’s mini van for a short road trip and the comfort factor won us over.
We purchased a Nissan Quest last month and are still a little surprised to see it in our garage. I’m going to be honest… I am TOTALLY EMBRACING mini van life. The comfort, the space, the many large windows, bells and whistles and it’s capacity to be filled with kiddos.
I resolved 2015 would be the year we added to our family.
We prayed that God would give us a child in 2015. God answered our prayer and for three months I carried our beloved Avery Arlin. Avery means “comfort/counsel” and Arlin means “promise.” On November 6th, 2015 we said goodbye to that precious life. We know we are being held and comforted by the God of all comfort and believe in the promise that we will someday hold Avery in a place where there are no more tears. We are thankful for his short life and for the way it has forever impacted ours.
We are thankful for God’s provision for us. For what he has and has not allowed.
Each painful memory holds as much joy as it does grief because I see my heavenly father right beside each disappointment allowing it with a greater knowledge of the hope that is coming. And as I sit here completely out of control and without a plan for the new year, I think it might be the first time I have said and believed, “It is well with my soul.”
Because everything doesn’t have to be perfect to find peace.
“When we are careful to instantly let go of all needless worries and restless thoughts (that is, self-centered thoughts rather than loving, outgoing ones) then we shall find ourselves on plateaus of peace even in the midst of the straight and narrow. We shall find ourselves walking in the freedom and innocent peace of the children of God, not lacking wholesome relationships either toward God or man.” –Fenelon, Let Go
So give yourself up to His plans this year. Allow yourself to be led where he wants to lead you and enjoy a year rich with peace, contentment and true relationships. I promise you that if you let him lead you there, He will.