As another year comes to an end, I wonder about all that has been and all that will come to pass. I have been more silent in my public writing in 2016 because much of what I have been learning feels frail and delicate and isn’t the sort of growth that can be shared while it’s still in progress. In fact, I’m not sure that any of it will ever come out of my fingertips and onto my keyboard to be shared with you. Twelve months ago, I may have apologized for my lack of sharing, but today, I choose not to apologize. We all walk paths that are solitary sometimes, so instead of an apology, I thank you for your presence. 2016 has felt like a rough year all around in the media and on my loved one’s social media feeds, so perhaps you’re walking what feels like a solitary path as well and need to know that you’re not alone.
Most of the lessons that I have been learning in 2016 surround my second pregnancy, about which I have also been mostly silent on my blog. As the lessons that I’ve learned have been hidden, so has our little man’s development. By the grace of God, every day he keeps growing and developing. My aim has been to be present every day in my pregnancy; to be thankful that I am pregnant and to enjoy my son every day. These may seem like small goals, but in the light of the loss of our daughter Cora in 2015, this pregnancy has been exceptionally difficult. God is continually faithful, and has provided for the needs that I have known about and for the needs of which I have been unaware.
As we walk out of 2016 and into 2017, my prayer is that we would all take the new year as an opportunity to be audacious in our hope. I know that so many of us are tired and may feel battered after a difficult year, but with the promise of the coming year, may we not miss a monumental opportunity to hope in God. My hope is not in political change, the goodness or evilness of humanity, or the life of my child. My hope is in God and God alone. The world could crumble around me and God would still be sovereign. My world has crumbled around me in the past and God is still good.
“Hope” is not the benign concept I once imagined. “Hope” is not sitting in my living room with all the doors locked and windows shut, watching mindless TV to make myself forget that there are problems in the world, wishing that bad things would stop happening so that my life could be more pleasant and comfortable. Hope is active. When Christ was on Earth, He was active. He fed those who were hungry, spent time with social outcasts, and gave up His life so that we could have a connection with God. To hope in Christ is to believe that He is the Son of God who offers forgiveness of sin and reconciliation to God through accepting His gift. To hope in Christ is to respond to His gift internally and, as a direct consequence of that internal acceptance, to respond actively. When I hide and refuse to live my life the way that He lived, I do not live in a way that demonstrates genuine hope; I live as a coward. May we not live as cowards this year. May we live daring lives of hope, actively sharing Christ’s gift and God’s goodness.
I will keep moving forward. Every single day, regardless of what comes next. God is still good.
So, let’s get off our butts off social media and actually be about loving people. Let’s act like we hope in God first.
Happy New Year, friends.