I’ve had some fun New Year’s Eves. When I was a kid, our parents would pre-order Chinese food for our dinner, and I remember with fondness the sticky red-sauced pork and fried rice we ate just once a year. In later years, I remember a fun NYE in a friend’s apartment with super-loud music and my pre-midnight ‘nap’ on someone’s daybed. I remember the one where we sat on the edge of our seats with friends, a bunch of toddlers, and my big pregnant belly, wondering at the potential effects of Y2K. There were a stretch of New Year’s Eves spent with a gaggle of little kids in pajamas, an artificial countdown with noisemakers and confetti set for 9pm so everyone could get to bed. There was one spent in a freezing cold town on the Cape, with fireworks, card games, friends, and a sleepover and pancakes for breakfast. Then there were the last few with dear friends, lots of prosecco and cranberry, and a cardboard resolution board. Last year with a shaking hand, I wrote, “finish a half marathon”, and by the grace of God and my daughter, I did it. I don’t know what I will write on tonight’s board.
This year has been tough. In the world, in our country, in many friends’ lives, in our family, and in my spirit, there’s been wrestling and roiling. At times, it has felt like things are off their axis, and they need to be put right, everywhere. But I’d be remiss if I neglected the really good stuff of the year, and there was a lot of that, too. Healed relationships, friends who came through, more clarity and understanding, the hard-fought assurance of the hand of a loving God in my life, hope.
New Year’s Eve is a great chance for a party, and for meaningful and joy-filled time with friends, but I’ve never been one to look to the turn of the calendar with anticipation. As a teacher, September has always felt like my ‘new year’, but this year is decidedly different. I am ready to turn the page and to start a whole new calendar and year, fresh and clean. We need new.
This year I am praying for the providence of our good God, for the fruit of difficult seasons to finally grow and bloom, for new beginnings, and for the joy and witness that come from answered prayers. This year, on my way home from the party, heartened by the warmth and hospitality of our good friends, and let’s face it, prosecco, I will hold my husband’s hand, and I will breathe in the cold, icy air of this new year, look up at the night sky, and wink at God. We have a deal for this year, He and I, and it’s one I’ve never trusted enough to make before now. Maybe that’s what I’ll write on the old cardboard tonight. Maybe there’s no better way to say it. Maybe, for me, there’s no better resolution than finally, truly, trusting that the twisted roads we’re on are leading to very good places. Resolution: it’s what this new year’s resolution is all about.
I believe I shall see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Psalm 27:13
I really do.
As we finish up 2017, I want to thank you for taking the time to read my work and for your support of me and my writing. In the coming year, may you experience peace, open doors, good health, the shared laughter of friends, and the joy that comes from knowing just how very much you are loved. Happy New Year!