In every single “year end review” that has been posted I have seen a common thread: this year was … Not a good one. The word that I actually want to use can be abbreviated to two letters : C. F.
The world hurt. Our country hurt. Alienation and angst prevailed. And so many face-palm moments. Nathan and my prevailing current events conversations went like this:
“Hey, did you see….”
Yes or no depending on the appropriate answer.
“Are you serious?”
And then we would sigh. Together. And just look at each other, because what was there to say?
My confession is that I did not hate this year. Despite all the uncomfortable, we were blessed beyond measure and the hard stuff has brought about movement in a better direction. This has been a year of personal reflection and acknowledgement of things holding me back. Small break throughs put me on a path of continuous change. And, 10 years in, I have a strong hand holding my hand and joining me on that path. I have seen so many prayers answered this year that my faith feels just a little stronger.
And I saw mermaids this year. My little sister got married. We went to Disney.
I am grateful.
I have struggled with what word to choose for 2018. Ready? Move? Malleable?
I see 2018 full of opportunity and potential:
I have always been drawn to the agricultural imagery in Scripture. Probably, because farming on a small scale has been such an important part of my upbringing; the back-breaking work of weeding and pruning, watering and care. I have watched apple trees die for no apparent reason.
Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. “
We all cried over a tree full of peaches lost to a lightening stike.
” Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.”
I have seen vegetables rot because I did not time their harvest right.
“ Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. “
I also remember a summer snapping beans after dark and helping my mother can 128 quarts of green beans. And this year, while my Father’s apple trees failed to pollinate, Granny’s rose to the occassion and brought more apples than we could eat.
“ Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.”
I see myself in these memories. Years where I sputtered for no apparent reason. The years where hard work and planning still ended in disaster. The year I felt like I was struck by lightening, and I was surprised we survived.
I am hopeful that this year I will grow. I imagine I will need some pruning, and the right mix of the Son and rain and nutrients.
And maybe, this year we might return a harvest.