beautiful, terrible 2014

"Here is the world.  Beautiful and terrible things will happen.  Do not be afraid."  Frederick Buechner

Here's what I wrote on New Year's Eve last year.

I made a list the other day.  

Ten great things we could all do in the new year, to move the junk out and bring the growth and healing in.

It was a good list.

And it made me tired and anxious, looking at it.

I just went and looked at it again.


Good stuff.  

Still made me tired and anxious.

I think I'll delete that list, and keep sitting with the words I heard during Advent.  

Receive.  Trust.  Rest.  Hope.  

All those things that don't depend on me.  

All those things that depend on Love, faithful and true.

I'm going to sit here with these things I know for sure, and see what happens next.

Cuz, you know, I think it's going to be a tough year for some of us.  

I bet some hard things are going to happen.  

Maybe for you, maybe for me.

We're going to be worn out at times, disappointed in each other, sick of ourselves, wounded by life, wondering how to find the strength to go on.

A lot of times I won't know what to do, and it will all seem too hard and sad and scary to deal with, if I forget to receive and trust and rest and hope.

So here's the one thing I want to do this new year.

Just one resolution on my list.

Whatever happens, I resolve to lean on Love.

I'm going to receive it.  Trust it.  Rest in it.  Hope in it.

Love will carry us through.

That's what I wrote last New Year's Eve, and looking back, it's weirdly prophetic.

I didn't know what 2014 would be like, but it turned out to be a doozy.  Way too hard and sad and scary at times.

It was hard to know how to write about it all here on the blog.  I tried to be emotionally honest, even when I couldn't talk about details.  A lot of times it seemed to me like the blog was getting darker and darker and darker as I got tireder and tireder and tireder.

But in between the terrible waves of pain and sorrow and fear and distress, there were experiences of incredible beauty throughout this year.    

As I come to the end of this year and look back, as I see the pattern of the year as a whole, it's like this:  every time I thought I was going down for the last time, there'd be this moment or hour or day of surpassing gorgeousness.  

And as I look back, all that beauty has been Love to me, sustaining my spirit.

So, in gratitude for all I've received this year, here's just a little bit of what's carried me through. 

Andy and I went to Italy in February.  We went to Venice and Rome and Florence, and we hiked the beautiful national park trails of Cinque Terre, on what must surely have been the most perfect February day on earth, ever.

We drove through the Texas Hill Country and toured the Painted Churches on an unseasonably cool 4th of July weekend.  This is how nice the weather was:  we HIKED.  In Texas.  On the 4th of July.

October took us to Sedona, Arizona for a bunch of walks through the amazing red rocks.

And for Christmas, we enjoyed a week in snowy Santa Fe.

All the beauty, all the Love, almost like God knew what I needed before I did.  

So here we are at the end of 2014, this beautiful, terrible year.

Still loving one another in deeper, richer ways after all we've walked through together.

Love has been enough.  

Thank God.

Thank God.

Thank God.

So I think I've got to go forward into 2015 this same way again:

Whatever happens, I resolve to lean on Love.

I'm going to receive it.  

Trust it.  

Rest in it.  

Hope in it.

I'm going to let Love will carry me through.

Because I think Love is all we've got, in the end.

And in the end, Love is enough.

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