Saturday night I was blessed to attend a special wedding. The bride was walking the aisle for the second time, although only in her mid twenties, having lost her first husband to cancer after only a year and half of marriage. The wedding celebration was a moving reminder of our grace-filled, second chance God.
The happy couple are in the precious stage of new, hopeful love, yet there was much about the ceremony that carried a far greater sense of 'knowing' than most weddings of young people are able to capture. When the bride got to the portion of her vows where she promised "...in sickness and in health, until death do us part" I got a lump in my throat. These were not just words she was repeating. This was a road she had actually walked. She knew the depth of her promise.
There was a sense of having been here...staring down the aisle and yet this is an entirely different season full of fresh wonder, hope and dreams...which brings me to New Year's Eve.
Although each moment of each day is an opportunity for a new beginning, the clean slate that a new year represents is hard to deny. The ball drops, new calendars are christened, gym memberships sky rocket, church attendance increases.
Year after year, on this day, we hope our hopes. We pray our prayers. We make our toasts and resolutions. From our hopeful perch on New Year's Eve, we don't know what 2013 will hold--any more than starry eyed couples know what 'for better or for worse' will really look like in their marriages.
A new year is a symbol of hope and faith. Will we make our own plans, force our own way or seek to find where God is at work and join Him there? I confess that it's most often the former, though I pray for growth and maturity that leads me to the latter.
I want to trust Him for His plans for this life--reserving comparison or judgment of how similar or different it may be for others. I want to respond to His plan for my unique life, the life I am married to, and the lives of the little ones I have been given to shepherd. Even though I get grumpy & blow it a lot, my heart's desire is for us to bring salt, light and the grace and love of God to wherever that may be on a given day.
It is especially symbolic this year, because 36 hours from now my family will be on foreign soil for a medical mission to Honduras that is not clearly defined. We aren't traveling with a group. My husband simply accepted a call from World Medical Missions to serve in a hospital that needs a surgeon. The children and I are following, because that's our call. So far, the children & I do not have any other assignment at all.
We are taking our broken Spanish, a suitcase of goodies and hopeful hearts. For the first time in a very long time my heart is at peace with much ambiguity. I am (somewhat surprisingly) joyfully expectant.
With a gulp of conviction I wonder why it takes "getting away" to get it. I pray the Lord will give me this same attitude of faith, trust and joyful expectancy about my far more predictable, control-riddled first world life the other 50 weeks of 2013.
We must love and trust the One we believe holds our futures. He's got this...this trip...this year...whatever other 'this' may be troubling your heart. May our greatest resolution be simply to trust the One who holds everything together, to guide us in the way we should go...all for His Glory.
Happy New Year!