I saw a post from Elora a few days ago about 10 words that defined 2010. I loved it. I wasn't really planning to do my own, but it ended up writing itself while I was at Cafe Milo today with my journal and a delicious latte.
I expanded on each of the words, really thinking about what the year has been like. I'm not going to pretend that 2010 was a cakewalk. It wasn't at all. 2010 was the hardest year of my life, hands down. I experienced pain and rejection and death. Yet 2010 was probably one of the most JOYFUL years of my life as well. I had community. Friends that breathed life into the broken parts. A Savior that delighted my heart in simplicity when all of the complications of life seemed unbearable. 2010 was a year of change.
I decided to flip back in my journal to see what I had written last year around this time. To read about what my dreams were for 2010. I found a short entry:
January 1, 2010.
My prayer for this year from the Valley of Vision:
Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly,
Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision,
where I live in the depths but see Thee in the heights;
hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold Thy glory.
Let me learn by paradox
that the way down is the way up,
that to be low is to be high,
that the broken heart is the healed heart,
that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
that to have nothing is to possess all,
that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
that to give is to receive,
that the valley is the place of vision.
Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells, and the deeper the wells the brighter Thy stars shine; let me find Thy light in my darkness,
Thy life in my death,
Thy joy in my sorrow,
Thy grace in my sin,
Thy riches in my poverty,
Thy glory in my valley.
I was sitting in Cafe Milo and just started crying. GOD DID NOT ABANDON ME THIS YEAR! A few posts ago I wrote about how my God was there the day I got fired. As I read over the prayer that I felt the Lord laying on my heart to define the coming year back in January of 2010-- I saw an outline of my year.
My God was there this YEAR.
The year my heart broke.
The year a few of my friends walked away.
The year I moved three times.
The year my grandma and one of my great friends both died from cancer.
The year I felt like such a failure.
The year of dust and ashes.
My prayer a year ago was that the Valley of Vision would define me. That I would live by paradox. The words that defined my year SCREAM of paradox. Growth. Death. Brokenness. yet Worship. Beauty. Identity.
I see 2011 as a year of HOPE. Of starting to see the seeds from 2010 start to bloom and grow. A year of beauty from the ashes of 2010. A year to press into my Savior. To cling to truth. To choose LIFE and JOY instead of shame and envy. To enjoy each season of my life the way I enjoy the seasons of nature. I anticipate spring rain to wash away the filth of winter. The thawing of cold and desolate places. Slow changes. Blossoms. Fresh wind. Warm rain. HOPE.
I pray that I can run toward hope. Through truth I can grab ahold of hope and believe in change. A year ago I felt the Lord calling 2010 a Valley of Vision. I now see how true that was.