So, it’s New Year’s Eve.
We’ve had an incredibly exciting day here. Really, I hesitate to share because I don’t want to create envy and bitterness over the fabulousness that is my life.
P has fever and hasn’t felt well all day. I spent the day setting up a new bed in Caroline’s room and cleaning out her closet. Caroline left to go out to eat Italian food with Mimi and Bops and then spend the night with them.
I’m so proud that our four year old is having a more exciting New Year’s Eve than her parents.
Of course I did go to Central Market and pick up some chicken noodle soup for P, so it’s not like my day has been completely without fun and adventure.
And now, we are sitting side by side on the couch in our flannel pjs watching the Chick-Fil-A Bowl. Dick Clark can only hope his New Year’s is this rockin’.
But, in all honesty, I couldn’t care less. I have had my share of festive New Year’s celebrations. Including one unfortunate year that involved me wearing red jeans, a sequined shirt and being overserved to the point of getting lost on my way back from the restroom at Chuy’s Mexican Restaurant.
I don’t know what’s saddest about that event, but I’m pretty sure it’s the red jeans. Although the sequined shirt is a close runner up.
There was also the New Year’s that P and I broke up because he wouldn’t come home from the ranch to celebrate a “fake holiday”. Gulley and I ended up spending that New Year’s together. We ate way too much at Carrabba’s and I think I had too much wine, which is my only excuse for how many times I belted out Faith Hill’s “It Matters To Me” because I felt like it best summed up my feelings about P’s New Year’s Eve apathy.
I bet Gulley doesn’t remember that year as her favorite New Year’s celebration.
But P shot a nice 10 pointer on New Year’s Day, which only served to confirm in his mind that he made the right choice.
And these days I tend to agree with him that big New Year’s celebrations are highly overrated. In fact, we received an invitation to an unbelievably fancy New Year’s Eve party this year. The invitation was hand-delivered. In a box. With a beaded chandelier inside the box. The attire was Couture/Black tie.
We turned it down. Because these days we prefer non-couture flannel. And watching bowl games. While taking lots of Sudafed.
But, because it is the end of another year, I have spent some time over the last few days thinking about 2007. I will now share those thoughts here because this is, after all, a record of my life. And while there are so many things I tell y’all on a daily basis, there are many that I don’t.
2007 has been a year of incredible transition. If someone had sat me down in January of 2007 and told me all the things this year would bring, I think I may have curled up in the fetal position and stayed there for the next twelve months. It’s been a year that has refined my faith in ways I didn’t even know it needed to be refined.
This year has been a 12 month process of God stripping away everything in which I’ve tried to find security. In January, I was faced with false allegations that made me fear I’d lose my job and just the thought of that possibility sent me into near hysteria (or if I’m being completely honest, full blown hysteria). The allegations were proven false, but then some other things happened along the way that led P and me to make the decision for me to resign in April.
The pharmaceutical job I’d held for ten years was gone. The income, the company car, the benefits were gone. But, I consoled myself with how well P’s business was doing and how much money we had in various accounts. We were totally fine.
And then P’s best employee ended up going to jail (it’s a long story), which slowed down the progress they were able to make on various jobs. Shortly thereafter, P’s back went out again and we knew he was going to need surgery.
Our new insurance didn’t want to pay on some of the claims which left us with medical bills higher than we expected, the brakes went out on P’s truck, we had to get some major dental work done, and finally, someone wanted to break out my car window right before Christmas.
We began to joke that we might as well just start flushing hundred dollar bills down the toilet because it was a more efficient way to drain our bank account.
The Bible study my group did in the fall was “A Woman’s Heart” by Beth Moore. In Week 2 of that study, Beth wrote, “Take the risk of inviting Him to do whatever He must to fan your flame again.” I knew as soon as I read it that God was calling me to take that risk. And I didn’t want to because I was scared.
But I did it. And y’all need to know that I did it with much fear and trembling. I had no idea what was going to happen but I knew that I had lost some of my passion for Him and I wanted it back. Ultimately, my need was stronger than my fear. Which means I had ALOT of need.
And that’s when the bottom fell out. But, honestly, it was almost comically apparent what God was trying to show me about myself. I have been so guilty in finding my security in the things this world offers. It’s not even that I love money so much or have to have it, I just like the security it offers. I felt like as long as our bank account had a certain balance then everything would be okay.
The irony is that “A Woman’s Heart” follows the Israelites as Moses leads them out of Egypt and to the Promised Land. I spent a lot of time being like the Israelites grumbling to myself, “I don’t know why God led me away from my job and all that security if He’s just going to hang us out to dry like this.”
But then God reminded me how He provided manna for the children of Israel every morning. He gave them what they needed for that day. Their security had to be in Him and in His provision. FOR THAT DAY. And that’s what He’s promised me, He will give us what we need for that day.
His provision doesn’t hinge on what the bank says we have or what the stock market does. He is over all those things and He is faithful and just to provide.
I’ve spent this year being refined in a way that I have never before been refined, but I can also say I have drawn closer to Him than I ever have before at any time in my life. When all the fears and worries begin to rise up, I’ve learned to run to Him instead of adding up bills in my head and trying to come up with my own solution.
At one point this month, after another setback had come in, I sat at the desk and started to cry. I opened my Bible and this is the passage I found:
“I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.” Isaiah 42:16
And as I’ve prayed for 2008 and all that this new year holds, the verse that keeps coming back to me is:
“You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country. The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock – the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks. Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed. You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out. The Lord will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven. The Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The Lord your God will bless you in the land he is giving you.” Deuteronomy 28: 3-8
2007 has been a year of God leading me into a new land. A year of me questioning what I believe and how much I believe it. A year of me learning that it’s okay to ask Him to help me overcome my unbelief. A year of me literally putting my money where my mouth is or more accurately where my heart is. A year of learning to trust in Him in ways that I have never trusted before. It has been a hard year and there are still struggles ahead, but I know that He that began a good work in me will carry it on to completion.
And as I completed my Bible study of Moses and the tabernacle, I learned something that I had never realized before. It’s something that really resonated with me. From the time Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, through all the grumbling in the desert, through all the hardships, to the completion of the tabernacle, one year had passed. ONE YEAR. How is that even possible that all that happened in one year? As Beth says, “It had been the worst year of his life and the best year of his life.”
I feel you, Moses. I think that’s how I’ll remember 2007. The best and the worst. But I already know that, like Moses, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
I’m sorry this is so long. I knew it would be, but my heart was full of so much to say and I had to get it all out. If you’ve read this far, then God bless you for your patience.
I wish you all a Happy 2008 filled with all good things! My life is richer because y’all show up here every day.