I resolve to…

Okay, so it’s New Year’s Eve, and…

  

So, to capitalize on this surely fleeting feeling, I will now list my New Year’s resolutions and things I hope to accomplish in 2012.

1. I resolve to take my vitamins and supplements everyday. Okay, let’s be realistic here, at least 5 days a week. I forget.

2. I resolve to fix my hair at least two times a week. This means blow-dry, curl, or straighten, not just put in a ponytail.

3. I resolve to drink more water. Oh, who am I kidding? I won’t do this. Delete, delete.

4. I resolve to air up my tires and ride my bike every so often. Vague timeline, huh? Every so often…

5. I resolve to at least begin the process of going back to school to get my Master’s in Counseling, Play Therapy, or Awesomeness. 

6. I resolve to read “Little Women” and “Emma”. Because I like these books and I have not read them in quite sometime. Plus they are free for my Kindle.

7. I resolve to write more in my journal. Because as painful as these times are, I know one day I will want to remember them, even if it is only to write my tell-all book that will make me rich. Or just to see what God did, either one. 

8. I resolve to dance more.

9. I resolve to wear sunglasses on a more regular basis in order to protect my eyes and prevent wrinkles. 

10. I resolve to attempt to speak kind words and in a kind tone to others. Especially when frustrated. Usually I can speak kindly unless I am frustrated, then it all hits the fan.

My hope and prayer for the next year is that I will learn to trust that God really does love me and that my heart will finally begin to believe that God is not out to punish me or test me or make sure I measure up before things go right. My hope is that I continue to see growth in the area of eating and exercise, as well as a continual commitment to recovery. My hope is that I get to spend time with my nephews and see them grow, that they learn even more of the things of God in 2012. My prayer is that the city of Danli, Honduras will continue to be reached with the gospel and that Ruth and Arturo will be blessed immensely. My hope is that friendships will deepen this year. My prayer is for restoration, reconciliation, and a healing in whatever capacity God sees fit, and that my heart will remain patient with Him as I wait on His timing. My hope is that I get to spend more time with my sisters and brother and that the work God has done in those relationships this year will continue to flourish and grow. 

So, I hope for 2012 because I cannot give up hope. I have hope not in my circumstances, or my money, or my church, or my family, but in God. God is always good and I am always loved and He is my hope. 

Proverbs 13:12

 Hope deferred makes the heart sick, 

   but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.

 

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Feliz Navidad

I am sitting upstairs at my mom’s house, waiting on family to arrive so we can begin Christmas Eve shenanigans. Things are not how they should be, however. Someone is missing. There is one less stocking hung up, one less face around, one less person to play games with. 

This Christmas season has been a huge reminder to me that things are not how they should be. And it’s not just in my life, it’s in this world. This world is not how it should be. Right now, there are people alone, without family or friends. Right now there is store clerk being yelled at because of someone’s greed. Right now, children are hungry, war is raging, families are torn apart. Right now, this world is broken. It is not how it should be. 

But, in the midst of all this trauma, we are celebrating that God knew this is not how it should be. And tomorrow, we will celebrate the birth of Jesus. Who came to earth to fix it. To make it how it should be. And, although Jesus was born, was crucified, and has ascended, He is still working. He is still making things right and His work is not done. And this is what Christmas means to me. That God saw this nasty, sinful creation and sent His Son. For you, for me, ultimately for His glory. 

As the words of my favorite Christmas song read, “O Come, let us adore Him. Christ, the Lord”.

May tomorrow be a rich time of enjoying family, friends, and this season, and may we celebrate the continuing work of God in our world.

Merry Christmas. Feliz Navidad. Joyeux Noël. Boldog Karácsonyt. (That last one, it’s Hungarian. I learned how to say it from one of my students this week.)

Oh, come, all ye faithful, 
Joyful and triumphant!
Oh, come ye, oh, come ye to Bethlehem;
Come and behold him
Born the king of angels:
Oh, come, let us adore him, 
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Christ the Lord.

I am tired of Brain Tumors.

This past Sunday, I went with my sister and her husband to the church her husband is the worship pastor at. (Crosspointe Community is a great church in Corinth, if anyone wanted to know) Anyways, I went because my latest and greatest nephew, Graham David, was being dedicated and since I am the favorite aunt of all time, I had to make an appearance. 

Little did I know that this church service would bring some very painful memories to my mind. Ones that, with the events of the past three months, I have not even begin to process or dwell on or even deal with at all. So, Brian, the teaching pastor started sharing about his friend from high school, who was a missionary in Brazil, and was diagnosed with a Brain Tumor and had to leave the mission field. His wife and their three children came also, and as this missionary was coming to of customs at DFW last week, he had a seizure and had an emergency brain operation to remove the tumor. His entire right frontal lobe was also removed. He has been in a medically induced coma for a week at Baylor Grapevine. He has been given 12 to 14 months to live. 

It’s hard to hear something like this and not think of what went on in my life this summer. My husband was diagnosed with a brain tumor. I thought he was going to die. I was terrified. 

And since then, things have become “muddied” in my personal life, and it’s not looking good, but regardless of what has happened, I still remember that fear. The fear of wondering what was going to happen, would he ever be okay, would WE ever be okay. And I was saddened. I was saddened that yet another woman, another young, vibrant, woman is wondering what the future holds for her family. 

So, I am tired of brain tumors. I am tired of unknowns and dreams that die and hearts that ache with question and waiting.

I guess what I am really trying to say is that I am tired of this fallen world. I am tired of hurting and watching others hurt. I am tired of crying, I am tired of the pain. This world screams for something to come and make it right. My heart is screaming for something to come and make it right. 

And I guess that is what Christmas really is. Earth and mankind were crying and screaming for someone to make it right, and God sent His son, Jesus. As a baby, and that baby grew, and healed, and ministered, and discipled, and carried His cross up that hill where He died, and by dying and rising again, He made it right.

But that’s not the end. He is coming back. And one day, hopefully soon, Christ will come back and there will be no more tears.

No more fear.

No more injustice.

No more brain tumors. 

 

Where in the name of heck does this road lead?

In June 2010, my family came to visit us in Honduras and we drove to the beach. We didn’t have a map, or any estimate of how long it would take us to reach our destination. We only knew what city we were headed to and what road to take to get there. And it took FOREVER. And in that drive, there were moments where I wondered if Honduras even had a beach and how could it be possible that we had driven for eight hours and not gotten there yet. There was a moment where I wondered if we would ever make it.

Have you ever been hiking and you are climbing and climbing and you reach a spot where it just seems like you will never ever get there? You have been going forever, waiting forever, to reach the top, to have clarity, and you are just exhausted. You keep wondering “When will I arrive, when will I finally see the end of this?”

I have been hiking to the summit since July. I was talking with my counselor today about my depression and the trauma of my life in the past few months, and she said that she has been consistently hearing one phrase exit my mouth through it all.

“I just want this to be over”. 

These seven words are deeper than they appear. They don’t just mean what they say. They also mean “I just want to know what’s going to happen”, “I just want to know how this ends”, “I just want to move on with life”, “I just want to know that I am going to be okay”.

Deep in my heart, they really mean “I just want to know that I am going to make it.”

Because sometimes I just don’t know that.

I had a wonderful time with old friends and new this evening, laughing, sharing, and having fun. Yet, I drove home knowing that tomorrow I will wake up in the same nightmare as every other day. I will wake up and feel stuck. I will wake up and be ready for this to be over. I will wake up and have to fight my eating disorder, fight my fears, fight for joy. 

I am in that spot. I am in that part in the hike where I am just so freaking tired of it all, and I don’t know if I will ever make it. I just want to know where the road leads. What will the answer be? What’s going to happen? When will I get a new start? What does that new start look like? And the list goes on and on…

I was reminded this morning that often, on our way back down the mountain, we pass the spot where we had a total freak out about making it, and it’s really not that far from the top. We were close, we found the summit, we found clarity, we found answers. 

We made it. 

So, everyday, I get up, I cry a little, I move on with life. I carry this 50-lb backpack up the mountain, a little further, but yet not all the way up. But one day it will be over. One day, I will have clarity. I will move on. 

It will be over one day. And I will be able to look back on today, when I was not sure if I would even make it, or if I could hold on, and I will remember that with God’s grace and guidance, and in His perfect timing, I had my answer.

I will look back and know, with full certainty, that I made it. Whatever it is.