One of my favorite things about the New Year is flipping to the last page of a brand-new calendar, wondering what sort of things I’ll be recording when I get there. But this year, I’ve taken particular pleasure in looking backward, thinking of how this year began and marveling at how much has changed.
One Thursday in January I sat next to my friend at Bible study, listening to a Beth Moore video about finding joy in trials. My friend was newly pregnant with an unexpected child. I was missing Sam, and frustrated that God had not given me another child yet. We two, crying out “too much!” and “not enough!” and wondering what in the world God was doing in each of our families, sat on the back row with our arms around each other and tears streaming down our faces.
I remember feeling like I was walking into the future with arms stretched out anxiously like I’d been blindfolded, wondering what waited for me with every next step. Then we found out that Tres was indeed on the way, and I held my breath for thirty-nine anxious weeks as I hoped that the Lord would not give and take away faster than I wanted him to.
Then came October, with the waiting and the nesting, and then It Was A Boy! and I got to use the name I’d always wanted to shout across the playground. And now it’s Christmas again, and I’m in over my head with the laundry and diapers and the two children circling in tiny orbits around me. I still sit next to my friend on Thursday mornings and now we both bounce wide-eyed babies on our laps: the happy, rosy-faced girl unexpected but beloved, and the solemn, roly-poly boy for whom our whole community watched and waited.
These two babies are my reminders that I’m always walking blindly into the future; I can’t ever know for sure how tomorrow will line up with my plans and expectations. But I can walk forward with full confidence, knowing that God who leads me by the hand every step can be trusted completely, and that the gifts from his hand can be received without fear, even when the packaging looks like losing, or waiting, or like too much of a good thing.
2013 is here in just a few more weeks, with its 12 blank pages and 52 Mondays and 365 days of who-knows-what. We’ll have babies born and birthday parties and holidays and weddings. We’ll have death and taxes. And next Christmas may find us laughing or crying on that back bench on a Thursday morning. But God was enough this year, from January’s tears to December’s joys. And he will be enough for next year, whatever it may bring.