I saw this photo the other day and after I stopped laughing…I shared it. A. Lot.
When I slid into January 1, 2016, broadside, I had ALL of the emotions you would expect someone to have who had just completed a three year purge of everything they owned….ALL of them. Mainly I had a lot of joy because 2016 could go nowhere but UP right?!?!!
What. A. Joke.
My counselor wondered out loud last week if my “word” for 2016 had been “brutal.” Nope…I never got around to naming 2016 (which is unusual for me), but if I had…it would have been hopeful or simply “hope.” Brutal though?!?! I think not. I had seen brutal. I had lived brutal. I had survived brutal.  
Excuse me while I take a moment and laugh a little more.
Of course when I started 2016, I never imagined that 75 days later I would be sitting in a counselor’s office. Never. Not even in my wildest imagination or fear.
…but by February the euphoria was gone, and I was left with a whole lot less stuff, and a big ole’ hot mess still raging inside of me.
What. The. Holy. Heck.?!?!?!
That is what happens (as I have learned) after you get rid of the distractions, protection measures, and the like….you are left with just….you.
Another thing I thought would be different in 2016 was December….especially as I got closer to it. Here I have done all of this work on myself for nine months…gone to Israel and walked where Jesus walked and taught…had some pretty heady strategic plans lined out for the firm I co-founded four years ago….and a whole list of other stuff checked off….
So….December was going to be awesome. I was going to finally get to savor the season…get a new advent study to really invest in this year (last year I had tried to do too many at once…I knew that)…not let the year-end to dos at work take me out….get my shopping done early…and on and on….
…and I did…get a lot of that done, and yet….
Something is STILL missing.
I don’t know what to tell you.
I think there is still more for me to let go of….*Deep Sigh*
…well I am back.
I just went and completed a personal to do that I have been dodging for days and days. Dodging because it is a big step in both the letting go and the walking forward with open hands and the trusting….all of the trusting. Man, I really suck at that.
*More Laughing*
The truth is that for me bravery is taking on a whole new look. Bravery is in the things I don’t say…I don’t do. I am choosing trust in God over trust in my ability to ‘make it happen’. I am marinating in the silence and the loneliness and the grieving….NOT because I enjoy it, but because I am trusting that God has me here for a reason. I am working to no longer apologize when I am sad or mad or even a combination of the two. I am not a freak because I feel deeply. There is nothing wrong with me because I have a lot of stuff to grieve….and that grief for me looks and feels strange…because it is strange to someone who has expended a whole lot of energy to NOT grieve or fake it (which I am feeling pretty confident right now that the faking part was worse).
So….the truth is that this December has felt pretty brutal, even ugly, to me. My heart feels vulnerable in new ways (that I don’t like). I am lonely on a level I, as someone who has lived alone since the age of 18, cannot put into words….at least not coherent ones. I feel unknown and unseen in new ways. I also feel misunderstood…even by those closest to me. I am missing the hope that this season nearly demands.
I am not alone.
Whatever your reasons or feelings…2016 is going to a year a whole lot of us are ready to say bye bye to….just 12 more days.
….and that is okay.
There are years…seasons…that you wish you could relive again and again….and then there are others that you are simply grateful you survived them the one and only time.
I will probably write a year-end post…I usually do…and let me say that it will be chock-full of all of the great things that have happened this year…there have been some big time blessings, highs, etc., but I would be remiss to not acknowledge that I am not going to be altogether sad to see this one go.
I want to be hopeful for 2017. I imagine I will be the closer it gets. Right now, it is simply good to acknowledge the pain of this one….and the fact that December doesn’t feel like I wish it did….and that there are lessons in that too.
Important lessons.
Also, I am still praying about a word for 2017. We’ll see….
I do have one surprise I am working on….
….but that will have to wait. 😉
I am going to try and write more this week, but if I do not….Merry Christmas!