Happy new year friends!! We are blessed to see another one. I have been on a slight hiatus from blogging due to the holidays and attempting to swing back into the new year. Apple is currently holding my laptop hostage, so it could be awhile before I have regular access to a computer. But luckily I am able to use the computers at my respective churches; thus, I am stealing a little time to blog!
I felt such immense joy while I was home for the holidays, and was thankful for precious time with family and friends. I am so blessed to have all those loves in my life, and I am more grateful for them each year I grow older. However, it did feel a little strange being back. I am feeling caught in between places. I have roots home in Alabama, ties in South Carolina where I attended college, and I am now forming a new community here in New Orleans. While I am blessed to have the opportunity to be connected with many different people, I often feel torn in many directions. Pieces of me are scattered everywhere, and I am without a true center. Additionally, working at two different churches amidst the stress of a new year increases this feeling of being pulled and stretched too thin.
With each day, I am learning that God can be that center, fill that aching hole that forms when one is simply worn ragged. If there is anything I have learned in these last few months it is that wherever I go, whatever I am doing I will not be truly happy unless I allow myself to bring my restlessness, my doubts, my anxiousness, and my fears back to God. I can clutter my life with so many things, so many activities, so many ways of living, so many desires that I think are the answer to the chaos inside of me. But in the end, I must trust God above all. To hear his voice rise above earth's static, and weave all that noise in our lives into a symphony that speaks to the true depth and cadence of human nature.
At the start of this new year, I feel that initial momentum, the familiar thoughts of THIS WILL BE THE YEAR. THE NEW ME. I will be a changed, marvelous person who exercises every day, eats insanely healthy, is super productive, follows through with all commitments, exhibits punctuality, reads scriptures everyday, and finally achieves self-actualization and a lifetime of bliss. Then December rolls around and the guilt and shame tumble over me, and I feel like a complete and total failure. Does this cycle sound familiar to anyone out there? I know many people who refuse to make resolutions because of these reasons.
I am at a terrifying, exciting, time in my life. People are constantly asking me "What's next?" When I give them a blank stare and say "Stay tuned," they are clearly not satisfied with this answer and seem to almost feel sorry for me. I can't even tell you what will happen to me tomorrow, much less come August. As grim as the future can look to me at times, I am trying to relish this feeling that I can go anywhere I want to go from here, be whoever I choose to be. Yes, there are obstacles, limitations, restrictions, but I want to take my time and figure out where my needs and gifts can best serve the world. I am a work in progress and thankful for that. The most important thing about "what's next" is that I am happy and can find meaning in what I am doing. Small things with great love as Mother Teresa said.
All that being said, I don't think I'll be making any dazzling new years resolutions this year. I don't want a "new me" but rather find the me that I've been running away from. I want to spend my months growing as an individual through various false starts, mistakes,setbacks and successes, realigning my inner compass, and living with this realization that happiness is a spiritual state of being that occurs only when God is the center, the driving force of all that I do. It is not an easy way, but I am more than ready.
Please keep the YAVs in Tucson in your prayers and all those affected by the recent tragedy. We must remember God is with us.
Year's end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us. -Hal Borland