The New Year! It’s here. With mixed emotions and colorful images I stand almost paralyzed. It’s not that I don’t want to move on, I am excited about the future. But there’s something about 2013 that makes me feel like I’m leaving an incredible friend behind.
366 days ago I sat here dreaming of what you would offer and hold in store. I was nervous. I ask your forgiveness for the ways that I questioned you. While my days were full, my heart stirred for something more. Something significant. The more I poured in to dreaming about you and trusting my days to God, you delivered countless surprises.
I began your year full of curiosity. The visions that had been imparted into my soul were glittered with hope. But yet the fear of the unknown beckoned to pull me backward. You equipped me to fight fear and for that I’m thankful.
Thankful also for a community and friends who were diligent in stepping over fear, I found myself determined to live brave. You, dear 2013, taught me how to just take the next step not worrying about the unknown on the other side. I’m hanging on to that as I take this ever-so-baby step into 2014.
Your pressing vision of a ministry that took Jesus love to the streets weighed heavy. But with each awkward step, you met me and solidified the dream. It was surreal most days seeing Your vision played out in real-time.
My heart was full!
Not because a vision had been fulfilled, but because I gained a deeper trust in Jehovah Jireh. I met new friends who encouraged me in this crazy journey to braveness.
I had no idea what you had in store for the next 365 days. With each flip of the calendar page came a newness, a challenge, and a beautiful unfolding journey. You were forcing me beyond my comfort zone, and I can now admit it was exhilarating.
You delivered BIG!
There were huge victories, as well as huge hurts and incredible adventures. Oh friend, why are there always big hurts? But I will choose to focus on the greatness you delivered.
In twelve of your months, you sent me to Guatemala. Then you sent me back again to lead an amazing team to serve others.
And in between all the crazy ministry opportunities you presented from serving on the streets, to ministering in clubs, to teaching women, to speaking at conferences — you treated me with three cruises to spend extra time with family and soak up God’s beautiful creations of the Caribbean.
And somehow in the mix of all that, 2013, you planted me smack dab in the middle of beginning a rescue house for human trafficking victims. Oh how I was thankful for the faith and trust you had been building in me. To help free others caught in modern day slavery is beyond anything that my little narrow mind would have comprehended when you began.
You set the bar high.
2013 because you were so big in my life, it’s hard to see what your sister 2014 has in store. Is it alright to admit, I kind of don’t want to move ahead. I don’t know how 2014 can measure up. I pray that she will stretch me as much as you did. I hope she takes me to places unknown. I ask her to draw me closer to my Jesus. And I can’t wait to see how she surprises, just as you did.
So while you have been so beautiful — messy beautiful at times — it makes it hard to leave you. I want to carry everything you taught me and the beauty of your presence into 2014. So I say, thank you for not being a jealous friend that would have me keep you in place. But yet you’re a friend who encourages me to take your memory into the unforeseen scary future. You know I’ll need to rely on you for strength and wisdom.
Oh 2013 — where did your days go?
Remembering you with thoughts that will forever guide me, I say good-bye.
QUESTION: What would you say to your 2013?