This year I tiptoed around the battlefield, waiting for the next explosion. Looking for the next landmine. Crying out for the battle to stop, for the war to end. I had no more weapons and I was just so worn out from all the fighting.
This year played out like a sad movie. I kept the tissues close, begging the cheerful parts to show up, waiting for the celebrations in the final scenes. In a way, I suppose we’re all still waiting on that happy ending.
This year looked like a boxing match. I had my fists up, but the hits kept coming. One after the other, I grew weaker, more vulnerable and unsteady. I slowly but surely fell to the ground, unable to remain standing. A total knockout.
And— you know what?
There is a strange kind of freedom in falling.
Looking back on the whirlwind of 2018, I see a lot of darkness. But I also see the light peeking through. Because even in the darkest night, there is the moon. There is the promise that the night will not last forever. A new day is coming, a new sunrise. New morning mercies. With this hope, we make it through the night. We trust in the something bigger, something better, something holier—a beckoning heavenward. At the end of the year, I still find myself repeating this simple prayer that says a lot: You are God, and I am not.
We can’t miss it, though. Even if we are in the trenches, we can’t miss those glimpses of glory all around us. The jaw-dropping sunsets and tiny hand squeezes. The smile from a stranger and the kindness of a friend. Swapping presents and hugs and funny Netflix shows. Remembering those loved ones we lost. Songs of hope found in a manger; flames burning in the dark. The singing of the church choir and the steam from a coffee cup. The laughter from the next room and the crackling fire and way the leaves dance in the wind.
Because we might just notice how all of heaven and nature sing:
A beautiful surrender.
The drumbeats of grace.
The subtle echoes of eternity.