Thursday, December 29, 2011

Some Years


Some years draw you in with anticipation—eager anticipation over what is to come, the promise of a long-awaited day or a special milestone to celebrate in the New Year. You can hardly wait!



But sometimes the doorway to the New Year appears a bit gloomy—gloomy because a storm is brewing. You dread what lies ahead. You see no way of escape. If only you could stop time, or fast-forward through the rough spots.

Are you facing a storm, going into the New Year?

I recall this time last year. A storm had blown in—out of a perfectly clear sky—and set my little world right on its ear. I remember wanting it to just be over already, the heartache, the anxiety, the waiting. I wanted things to go back to normal—now! But that didn't happen.



When storms come to us, there are people who will say you need to do A, B, and C. I’m sure they mean well, and, to be honest, I’m a firm believer that one should consider all points of view before making permanent decisions about anything. All it requires is listening. And I especially advocate listening to the voice of elders. They’ve lived longer. They know more. You don’t have to do what anyone suggests, but it never hurts to have input. It helps you make a decision based on knowledge and not on emotion.



Ultimately, however, every man’s journey through loss and grief and heartache is his own. It’s a personal journey. In the words of Marcel Proust, “We don’t receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us.”

Sometimes, we bring storms upon ourselves. We make bad choices and they come back to bite us. Sometimes, it’s the bad choices of others that force us to walk down stony paths we did not choose. And other times, well, it’s simply life. The Bible says it rains on the just and the unjust. Quite frankly, I’ve experienced all of the above.



No matter who you are, or what your name is, you aren’t exempt from storms. If you haven’t experienced one yet, you will. And how you get through storms—other than leaning on One bigger than yourself—is something you have to figure out on your own. What works for one, may not work for the other. Even if someone’s been through exactly what you’re going through, no one knows exactly how you feel. They don’t think like you think. They don’t understand you at your core.



Some folks want company around-the-clock whenever they’re going through a storm. They interpret the absence of people as the absence of caring. I’m not faulting them for feeling as they do. We’re all different.



For me, I mostly want to be alone in stormy seasons—alone with God. That doesn’t mean I want to be forgotten and never visited or called or contacted. Not at all. I find comfort in hearing from those who are praying for me; they are like God’s personal angels. Often they have just the word I need to hear, and I know they were sent by God to deliver that message to me.



But I gain strength in silence and stillness. It’s just me and God. He is the only one who knows exactly how I feel. He knows how I think. Reading His Word brings me hope for the future and reminds me of past victories. Samuel Taylor Coleridge had it right when he said, "I have found in the Bible words for my inmost thoughts, songs for my joy, utterance for my hidden griefs, and pleadings for my shame and feebleness."



The thing about storms is there’s no easy way out; storms must be lived through. There is no magic wand. And that’s the tough part—the putting of one foot in front of the other. But if we keep doing this, day in and day out, with God’s help, we will one day find ourselves in the sunshine again. The storm will be over. I can say that with assurance, for I’ve lived through enough storms to know this to be true.



Whether you are eager for the New Year, or dreading it like the plague, just know that God is already there, in all of your tomorrows. He knows the end from the beginning, and all points in between. You may feel alone, but if your trust is in Him, you are never alone. He is with you and will guide you through all of the rough places, just as He has done for me so many times.

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In a few days, we will cross the threshold into the year 2012. May I encourage you to keep an eye out for God’s post-it notes? It might be a redbird outside the kitchen window, a single rose in bloom, or the breath of a baby on your face. They’re all notes from God saying, “I am here. You can trust me. I won't leave you.”

I know this has been a long and rambling post. If you're still with me, thank you and God bless you for your enduring spirit. Until next time, sweet friends, keep the faith.

Lord willing, I will be doing my usual Year-in-Review post on Saturday. I'd love you to do the same.






17 comments:

  1. I've known those years. I'm blessed that I haven't known more of them in my life. Looking forward to your review. I'm going to try and post one myself. Key word is "try". ;)

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  2. The journey from which no one can spare us -- and through which no one else can walk... Such awesome imagery Proust used! I've walked through several of those journeys and they were neither easy nor enjoyable, but God and I go to the sunshine proclaiming victory every time. I'm so thankful!

    Unlike some years, 2012 is a year I'm welcoming with expectancy and excitement. I can't wait to see where God and I will travel! I pray you can say the same, and I wish for you His richest blessings as you take the journey. Happy New Year!

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  3. Once again, dear friend, you wrote what I needed to read today. You've done that so many times.

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  4. Dayle, I love your reference to "God's post it notes" and other thoughtful comments. Happy New Year to you and thank you for visiting my blog.

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  5. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!
    Just what I needed as I head into the strom of next year!
    Your post has touched me.
    Again, (through tears) Thank You.

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  6. This is beautiful and inspiring. I love your writing and all the wonderful advice and info you provide to all of us. I am hopeful for 2012 and have nothing huge on the horizon for now at least but you never know what each day holds. Happy New Year Dayle!!

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  7. So true....I've been thru those years...and if it was for HIM... I would of never made it!

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  8. Through it all
    Through it all
    I've learned to depend upon His Word.

    Lovely post. Wish I could Tweet it. Happy New Year!

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  9. Words from a storm warrior. All true.

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  10. Incredible narrative & photos...Happy New Year!
    Hug your mom for me.

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  11. I love what you said about God's post it notes. He actually spoke to me through a little bird (after reminding me of the verse about no sparrow falls to the ground without His knowledge.)

    I wish you a Happy 2012 and pray the storms are calmer this year.

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  12. I really enjoyed your post. I have had the rain several different times in my life....and I hope and pray that I enter this New year with anticipation of God's grace in my life and not dread. It isn't always easy....
    I do hope that your year is better this year...Joy does come in the morning!!

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  13. I just stumbled onto your blog I *think* through Reluctant Entertainer. So glad I did.

    Your thoughts here about grief and coping are so timely and so closely echo how I feel. I don't know what you're enduring, but I wish you the very best. How wonderful that you have the wisdom to count your blessings in the mean time.

    And thank you for the encouragement to trust God! What a positive way tot start 2012.

    Happy New Year from Oklahoma! I'll be catching up on your archives.

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  14. Dayle, I just got an email directing me to this post. (I'm as behind in checking email as I am in reading blogs. We've been out of town with the in-laws.)

    I'm also behind because I'm having one of those "less than excited" New Years myself. I really needed to read this post and believe that God himself sent the email through our mutual blog friend.

    I'm like you in that I tend to want to be alone. I've recently been perceived as not being there "enough" for someone else because I responded to them the way I would want to be treated so in addition to dealing with my own feelings this new year, I'm trying to respond to someone else's feelings at the same time. Kinda weary...

    Sorry for the rambling comment, but I really just want to say that I hope (and therefore will keep praying) that whatever it is that has tagged you as "it" this year will pass through and open the doors for restoration and that certain peace and blessing very soon.

    You're a favorite of mine, you know.

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  15. Dayle,
    Our blogging friend Christine referred me to this post as I weather a new storm in my life. I can't tell you how much reading this has meant to me. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    My prayers are with you as well.

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  16. Dayle,

    Here it is, May of 2013 and I am reading this old post of yours. I only just recently (about 2 weeks ago or so) came across your blog as I was reading through Cindy from Dwellings blog links. I have been lurking ever since. I love your way with words and your beautiful heart as it is displayed through your photography as well. I love this post in particular since I related to storms of life and deal with them, it seems, somewhat like you do....in solitude...with Jesus. Thank you for sharing this and I am looking forward to keeping up with you, The Man, and your travels!

    Sincerely, Debby

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Dear Readers, I adore your company and your comments. If you ask questions here, I respond to them here, so please check back when you have a chance. Kind regards, Dayle