I’ve been thinking all week about what entering this new year will mean for me. And, when I consider whether or not to make a resolution I am sobered by a keen awareness of my intrinsic propensity to fall short, my geminaic inclination to change direction in midstream, and my internal struggle of heroic proportion– learning to hope without expecting to be disappointed (translation: I’m a fallen, impulsive pessimist). Not a great combination for resolution making (or resolution keeping at least), so this year–no resolutions!
But I do face this year with much more anticipation than in the past. I face this year awakened, however slightly, to desire. I’ve realized that the greatest loss I’ve suffered from much of the trauma and heartache of my life was my heart. I killed it long ago with all of its longing for something more because to long, to desire was too costly, too painful, too vulnerable.
Have you ever found out that something you really wanted to happen wasn’t going to happen after all and responded with, “that’s ok, I didn’t really want it all that much anyway”? To me, that’s the death of desire, the killing of one’s heart, the easy road. It says that not wanting, desiring, or longing feels better than disappointment, so I choose not to desire. I know this choice all too well. I’ve made it over and over again and it had made me tough, flippant, callous, insensitive, abrasive, cynical and bitter. It left me hopeless without me even knowing it.
But what’s life without the hope of something more? What if today or last year is really all we get? Well, beam me up Scotty! Get me out of here. If this is all we’ve got then we are, like Paul says, of all men most miserable. I long for something more, waaaay before heaven. And, I believe there is more. I believe that there is more life than I’ve known so far–more joy, more peace, more love, more amazing friendship, more community, more grace to give and to receive, more knowing and being known. I want more. I hope for more.
I realize too that hoping for more sets me up to be disappointed. It makes me vulnerable, it exposes my heart, my emptiness. But if I don’t hope for more, I don’t invite it. I close myself off to the possibility of receiving more because I’ve filled the emptiness with bitterness and hardness. I choose to be empty and broken without trying to clean that up myself, because only then can I be filled and healed, only then can I experience life as I believe God intends.
The most amazing moments I experienced this year all emerged from brokeness. I’ve suffered tremendous loss recently and become aware of a lifetime of tremendous loss. In working through that I met a pretty amazing person, me. Experiencing life, hoping for more begins with me learning who I am, who I’m created to be and honoring that. I’m created to offer all of me to the world, the brokeness and the glory. Only then can I live.
I’ve felt most alive this year when:
- I answered honestly when asked, “how are you doing?”
- Friends held me and wiped my snot as I cried through the darkest moments.
- I told the truth about BIG slip-ups (like, one year set back slip-ups) and was met with grace, love, laughter and alternatives 😉 !
- Standing in a beautiful city with beautiful mountains and lakes with beautiful people who just let me be.
- Friends offered me a key to their apartment (which I still haven’t gotten, btw).
- Invited to spend the night with special family members because I was missed.
- Dancing for 6 hours straight and dreading not being able to walk the next day.
- Planning the party of a life time in May (ummm, maybe November?)
- I shared my story, unabridged, with a few amazing friends who have held it and loved me well.
- I’ve seen that my story gets easier and easier to tell.
I’ve been loved well this year, y’all. And it’s been amazing. And in the year to come I dare to long for more.
Happy New Year!