At the beginning of each year I do a bit of an assessment—where I am, where I was in the previous year, where I’d like to be after 12 more months. From there I shape goals and habits for the year ahead. Sometimes I choose a theme or a meaningful Scripture verse. Then I set out to move toward the goals and dreams with the aim of progress, not perfection. But hope for change is always on my mind!
The theme I chose for 2019 was one word: Today. As in, Today is the day to inch forward, because this is the time you’ve been given. I can’t relive yesterday, nor can I live tomorrow early. But right now? Today? This is when I can choose to live and write and dream and inch forward.
When I chose the theme, I had no idea what sort of Todays 2019 would deliver. The future isn’t ours to know, but I assumed there would be Todays filled with good things: love and laughter, writing and thinking, adventure and discovery.
I did not expect the Today that came as the summer sun burned bright overhead, bearing news of searing, unbearable grief. Within a week, there was yet another Today filled with loss—sorrow upon sorrow, salt in the wounds, a true sucker punch.
These were not the Todays I expected.
But there, in the unexpected sorrow, I found glimmers of God’s glory, shimmering like a rainbow within the storm clouds. God showed His presence through those who were present to us in prayer and with words, hugs, tears, and silence. And food. Oh, the food! These small kindnesses were anything but. These kept us afloat in a raging sea of grief.
I’m not sure where the Todays went after the summer. They have melted together into one long Today, the new reality of what is. A few specific, special days and happenings stick out. Otherwise, I’ve been simply showing up for whatever Today is, asking God to be near and knowing that He is able not to only meet me in the coming sorrows I can’t see and don’t expect, but to also tend to my grieving heart in ways I’d never expect.
Like in other years, I’ve made some 2020 goals, and I’ll share those soon. But this year feels different, distinct—probably because I am now different in the very fiber of my being. The unexpected Todays of 2019 did indeed change me, and I’ll be carrying that change the rest of my days.