2012 was the longest year of my life.
For many reasons, really, but mostly because for me, it feels like it started midway through 2011.
In late May of 2011, my precious Grandmother went home to be with Jesus. That same week we emptied the house she & my Grandpa had called home my entire life. It was a devastating experience for me that I may never fully recover from. A week after my Grandma died, the man I thought I’d spend forever with shattered my heart. All of a sudden, I found myself unbelievably alone, and it hurt. I was overwhelmed by the reality that my heart would never be the same.
Entering 2012 a few months later, I was in the midst of the most significant struggle I’d ever faced. Deeply in it. Celebrating a new year with all the hopes & excitement that accompany it seemed like a cruel joke.
The year continued to spiral downhill. I had to walk away from an unhealthy relationship with one of my best friends. My Uncle unexpectedly died. A few months later (just this past November), my other Grandmother died unexpectedly. My job was hanging in the midst of uncertainty. My church in the midst of significant transition. To say that it has been a hard year seems almost laughable. Truthfully, it has been brutal.
Yet when I look back on “my” 2012 (June 2011 – now), I can see the faithful hand of a God who knows suffering. He knew that in the midst of deep suffering, I needed community. The friends who have surrounded me over this year are, without a doubt, the sweetest evidence of God’s grace and exactly what my heart needed. He knew that in the midst of deep suffering, I needed solitude. He provided this sweet little condo on my meager student ministry salary that gives me room to be alone, but also room to breathe. He knew that in the midst of deep suffering, I needed to need Him. In so many ways, He removed the security of job, family, relationship, etc. to force me to remember that HE truly is all that I need.
He knew that in the midst of deep suffering, I was going to blow it.
He knew that I’d question everything. He knew that I’d act out of grief in unhealthy ways. He knew that I’d spend so much time wishing I could go back, that I’d forget He is the God who is making all things new.
He knew that in the midst of deep suffering, I’d be faithless.
And so He made a promise, long before death & broken promises ever damaged my fragile heart, that when I am faithless, He WILL remain faithful, because He cannot disown Himself. (2 Timothy 2:13)
I enter 2013 convinced that unexpected death, broken promises, uncertainty, ending relationships, loneliness, deep grief, sleepless nights, millions of tears, broken hearts, or anything else that may come, could ever separate me from the love of Jesus. (paraphrase, Romans 8:38) The Love that promises His faithfulness in the midst of every season. (Lamentations 3:23) The Love that promisess He will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born. (Isaiah 66:9) The love that promises He IS making all things new. (Rev. 21:5) The love that promises He will repay the years the locusts have eaten. (Joel 2:25)
If I have learned anything in my extended 2012, it is simply that HE. IS. FAITHFUL.
2013 will be a year of clinging to these promises, waiting in expectant hope to see Him faithfully fulfill them, in His perfect way and His perfect time.