A couple of nights ago, I went back and reread that last blog post about 2012. Even though the post wasn’t remotely sad or emotional, I found myself sitting in the big recliner in my living room with tears streaming down my face.
God was so faithful to us in 2012.
Last January, I met 2012 with anticipation and anxiety. I looked at our calendar and thought, “There’s no way I’m going to make it through this alive.” The idea of traveling every weekend with two 18-month olds almost sent me over the edge. The huge sum of money we needed to raise seemed insurmountable at times. Deciding what precious things would go in our 12 duffel bags put knots in my stomach. And when I thought about having to say goodbye to so many people that I love so dearly, I would melt into quiet sobs.
But the idea that THIS WAS THE YEAR that I would move to the field somehow trumped it all. The excitement and giddiness and steadfast faith in the fact that this is what I’m called to made the rest of it somehow doable. I knew that I would have a hard stretch of stress, exhaustion, and emotional upheaval, but I knew that at the end of it, I would get on a plane with the confidence that I was headed the right direction.
At the beginning of last year, I printed out 8 months of calendar pages (ending in Moving Day) and hung them on the fridge. The little squares filled up with chaos, and I considered ripping them down because looking at them stressed me out. But as I checked off boxes with each day, I started seeing the little Xs as proof that God was carrying me through the year despite my anxieties and fears and stresses. Everything was getting done, but definitely not because of MY strength or abilities. It was like I was tracking God’s faithfulness instead of tracking my chaotic schedule.
I kept those calendar pages up until the day we moved out….then I folded them up and put them in a box in my parents’ attic. I couldn’t throw them away. Years from now, I want to remember God’s faithfulness in the chaos.
Even though the year is over, the craziness isn’t. It would have been foolish and naive for me to believe that all of the stress and anxiety would disappear when I boarded a plane, that my life would suddenly be smooth sailing just because I’d finally hit a milestone I’d been waiting and praying for for the past 17 years. In a lot of ways I saw Moving Day as the light at the end of the tunnel, but I also knew that it was just the beginning of a new chapter. A whole new chapter of crazy.
I look down the pike at 2013, and I realize that this year also has has the potential for me to get overwhelmed by the anxiety and anticipation. We have another big year coming up; hopefully we’ll figure out where we will be serving long-term in Latin America (which will probably mean lots of traveling for Nate as we narrow it down), we’ll be working hard on Spanish in order to learn it as quickly as possible, and we’ll hopefully complete our Colombian adoption, adding 2 more children to the family. Instead of a crazy schedule, I’m expecting crazy emotions and challenges and frustrations.
But I’m also expecting crazy joys. I’m expecting God to completely amaze me with his faithfulness in 2013. I’m expecting to look back on this year and say, “He did it again,” in the ways he grows me and changes me and challenges me through my relationships and through the Word. I’m expecting to have to cling to the Lord and his promises even more this year than ever before, and to learn in all new ways that he is my strength and sustenance.
I am expecting hard things in 2013, and I’m expecting them to be beautiful.
As a matter of fact, I bought my new 2013 spanish calendar this week, hung it on the wall, and I’m already tracking God’s faithfulness.