A New Day!

Yesterday, Matt and I celebrated Christmas early with my mom since we will be spending Christmas day with Matt's family.  We had a blast playing games and talking and laughing.  Matt made us Coq au Vin.   It was wonderful, but I am not sure how any recipe that calls for brandy, wine, and bacon could be any less than wonderful.  We opened gifts as well, and included in my stocking was a new calendar for my purse.  This is a bit of a tradition.  My mom has been giving me a new calendar since I was a young kid.  Every year, I have looked forward to flipping though my calendar from the previous year, reminiscing about all the things I have done and transferring birthdays and holidays and such to my new calendar. 

Today, I had a little time left in my lunch hour so I held my annual "transferring of the calendars."  Though there were plenty of fun things like movie nights and coffee dates with friends and dinners with my husband, my calendar from this last year was marked with sadness.  Dates of funerals and burials.  Markings of trips to visit injured or sick friends and family.  Anniversaries of the passing of my son. 

After transferring significant dates, I got the overwhelming sense that I was done being consumed with the sadness of last year.  Will I forget what this past year has held...absolutely not.  Have the deep wounds of my heart healed...not totally and I don't think they ever will be healed completely this side of eternity.  But I have had enough of marking my days by sadness and grief.

There is something so freeing about transferring the important dates of life into a new fresh calendar and just leaving behind the tragic days.  So in honor of my birthday tomorrow and a fresh start on my own calendar, at the end of lunch today, with all my might, I chucked my calendar from last year into the trash.  I will not forget the lessons that I have learned.  I will always carry the scars and bittersweet memories of this year, but God is showing me that I can move forward with the hope I have in him.  Am I naive enough to think the future will be nothing but happiness and roses?  No.  But if I have learned anything from this year, its that my hope and joy is not based on the circumstances of this life.  It is based on the Solid Rock of my faith.  No matter what comes my way, He will be there to walk through it with me.

" Do not look forward to the changes and chances of this life in fear; rather look to them with full hope that, as they arise, God, whose you are, will deliver you out of them.  He is your Keeper.  He has kept you hitherto.  Hold fast to his dear hand, and he will lead you safely through all things; and, when you cannot stand, he will bear you in his arms.  Do not look forward to what may happen tomorrow.  Our Father will either shield you from suffering, or he will give you strength to bear it."
- Saint Francis de Sales.

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