About an hour ago I did wish some folks a Happy New Year.
The more I consider it though, who am I to tell people to have a happy new year?
This past year has brought quite a bit of suffering and grief to people I really love, like, barely know and many I'll never meet…why should they be required to have a Happy New Year in 2013?
This year I've…
watched some close friends tragically lose their dads
watched one of my best friends lose really important older women in her life (her MawMaw and great aunt who helped raise her)
watched a friend still not be able to get back with her separated husband
watched a good friend still not have resolution with an untruthful accusation with his job at work
watched several close women in my life miscarry…more than once
watched my sister-in-law say goodbye to one of her good friends who went into hospice the other day and pass away this morning
watched a friend go home to be with her dad as he entered hospice care
learned that the son of my sister-in-law's childhood best friend (who died 5 years ago) shot himself the other day with his best friends there
heard of tragedy after tragedy happen-just in this country-with folks losing their friends and loved ones to horrific events, due to brokenness (the government can't make broken people unbroken…never will be able to…)
learned of sick adoption issues across the world that are truly harming children
learned of more than one mom of small kids lose her husband out of nowhere
learned that just yesterday my friend's dad went to the hospital with pneumonia
watched two of my best friends say goodbye to their 2 1/2 year old little girl after a 2 1/2 year battle with sickness
and the other day I watched (from a distance) a family that I hold dear get into a horrific accident, throwing one of my favorite little freckle-faced, Irish teenagers from the car, taking away his Senior year and first year of college-here in 2013…
…seen so much pain…
I think…who am I to wish these people a Happy New Year?
Instead, I think this year I will move forward with wishing my friends and family a Hopeful New Year.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Romans 15.13
How can all of these people move forward in such great pain? It just doesn't seem to be humanly possible, but by the grace of God. I was reflecting yesterday on how great God was this past year-in SO many ways, and also on the reality of the sorrow that SO many of my friends and family have felt. I literally felt it yesterday-quite a heaviness. These things are not sorrowful moments felt once and then gone. These are moments that are felt on a daily basis.
So I will continue to pray for said-friends in my life, and those that I do not know, asking that God would make the reality of His hope apparent in their lives. That it would push them forward 365 more times in 2013-even on the really hard days, when numbness sets in and the walls of grief are closing in on them. I'm praying that Father God would help them put together the pieces that don't make sense and that He will bring a new level of wholeness to their lives.
Feel free to let me know how I can be praying with you this year.
You are my hiding place and my shield;
I hope in your word.
"And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you.
I rise before dawn and cry for help; I hope in your words.
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope…
Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God…
For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off.
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.