Yesterday felt different.
Today feels the same.
Isn’t that the way it is with the New Year? January 1st is filled with hopeful plans and anticipation of what the year will behold. January 2nd is a meeting of expectations and reality. And at times, they don’t match up.
But is that really so bad?
We’ve spent the past week and a half in the sweetest way – with family and friends, giving and receiving, eating and laughing, listening and sharing. In the middle of it all, the demands of regular life have not ceased.
Sharing amazing meals with guests means dirty dishes and tablecloths. Floors that need cleaning. Clothes that need washing.
Little kids playing together means big emotions and conflicts to sort out. Hearts that need tending. Cheeks that need kissing.
Work and play go hand in hand.
The other day, my five year old daughter had a moment in her otherwise great day that was particularly difficult. In her pain she cried out, “This is the worst day of my life! The whole day is the worst day ever!”
Amen. I have been there!
I sat with her and listened to her list of reasons why. Then I asked her if anything good had happened at all. She gave me one or two things she thought would qualify as “kinda good I guess”.
“Isn’t it interesting that there are good things and bad things right beside each other in a day?” I asked her. “That’s sometimes how it is. We have something really great mixed in with something really hard.”
BOOM. I chuckle when I think of it now, but it was a lightning bolt to my heart. I realized in that moment that I needed to hear those words more than she did.
2018 was a really tough year, although right along with it, we’ve seen amazing things and enjoyed many incredible moments. And even now, through this season marked with hope, peace, joy and love, we have been praying for three beautiful families in our life who each have a child facing a big battle with cancer, a friend who lost her mother right before Christmas and other relationships that are utterly broken, seemingly beyond repair.
These things do not leave us when the season changes and the calendar flips to a new month or a new year. But neither does the Lord.
Whatever we’ve been walking through, whatever is following us into the New Year, we know that we are not alone.
Isaiah 41:10 (NIV) –
“So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Thank you Jesus! Amen.