Ahh, the New Year. There is so much post-holiday cheer still hanging around, and the excitement of resolutions and change is filling the air with a promise of a better tomorrow.
For some of us, though, the New Year can be isolating. The better tomorrow seems impossible.
A silent God, hopeless dreams and the reality of loneliness seem to step in the way of the excitement of the season because at this point, it really feels as though nothing can change. So we grin and bear it through the turn-of-the-year parties and resolutions, knowing things won’t change but deep down wishing they would.
I say that because I’ve been there.
This time last year, I was defeated. I had some big dreams for the direction of our little family, dreams that I was sure were more of a fact, a calling, a soon-to-be reality. But nothing came through, and my heart was heavy. We were stuck in a rut in a place that wasn’t home and surrounded by this ache from lacking purpose and direction.
Maybe that’s you this New Years.
The stories are unique between you and me (something I’ll never stop saying) because I don’t know the details of what you are going through. Your defeat is different then mine – but it’s not permanent. Believe me, I know – it feels hollow and hopeless, and it seems as though God is silent.
But it gets better.
I say this because I know.
Recently I was reviewing older posts on my blog- ya know, reminiscing about 2016 and dreaming about the future. I stumbled across this post, and suddenly I was just hit with all of the emotions and baggage I carried with me at this time. Although there were vague, hope-filled words at the surface, my heart remembers utter hopelessness and many frustrated, tear filled nights. Lacking purpose, lacking a future.
I know it sounds dramatic, but it’s true. It’s how I felt because my heart was longing for something more, something I couldn’t really put my finger on but I felt deep in my soul.
It’s only been a year since doors were slammed in our faces and discouragement set in, but I am amazed at how much has changed in that year. So much good. We did move to the mountains, and realized that this place is home (what a wonderful feeling!). We have been inspired by the city, the rural country, and the people we have met. We have a purpose here. I am surprised and slightly humored looking back at last year, at the doubt and fear I had for 2016. My goodness, despite my pain things did turn out okay.
Don’t get me wrong – not everything is perfect, and there are places where I still struggle with doubt and discouragement. New situations arise every season. But knowing that this dream that once was so fervent to me has been fulfilled, even though it looks NOTHING like I would have wanted or expected, has refreshed my outlook for 2017 and has added thankfulness to my heart.
I want you to know things will get better. Right now, it might not look that way – it might be dark where you are, you might feel empty and forgotten. But if so much can change in just one year – there’s no reason for me to think that things can’t change for you, too.
Sure, life will always have its ups and downs. And of course, things didn’t turn out how I expected (we gave up our Tiny House, my favorite little space, to move), and they won’t for you. It’s highly doubtful your story and struggle will tie up neatly in a bow once the next new year comes, as it hasn’t yet for me, but there is a light a the end of the tunnel, a hope for something better… always.
What are you hoping for in 2017?