2020 was a year, wasn’t it? The Good Book says that “hope deferred maketh the heart sick” and darn if that’s not the truth.
Folks are asking what 2021 goals I have. To be honest, I’m walking wounded where goals are concerned. I have a bone bruise. It’s not that I don’t have desires. I do. But goals? I had goals last year.
I started the year with surgery on my foot. I was assured that I would be up and running in a few months’ time. Running, that hope deferred for over a decade… oh, sweet hope. I knew it would take sweat and pain, but I looked forward to relearning to use those parts of my body. The freedom of movement without pain.
The top of that foot is still largely numb, the bottom of my *other* foot is in pain, and the surgery-foot was swollen enough that I had to wear compression socks and lace up shoes all summer. Needless to say, I’m neither running nor jumping as yet. The doctor was wrong.
2020 was just LIKE that. For everyone. I’m not special.
And I’m not special in the Word I’ve gotten for this year. I asked, on my birthday (beginning of Dec) for a word for my 48th year. My word was “restoration”. I looked up the Bible definition of that word: “The biblical meaning of the word “restoration” is to receive back more than has been lost to the point where the final state is greater than the original condition. The main point is that someone or something is improved beyond measure. Unlike the regular dictionary meaning of “restoration,” which is to return something back to its original condition, the biblical definition of the word has greater connotations that go above and beyond the typical everyday usage.” (reference.com)
That’s a promise I’ve had – and been waiting on – for many a year. It’s been met, and more than met, in other areas of my life. I write about it seldom now but my marriage was restored by that definition. I know the taste of that word, its operation in my life. It is not a slight promise.
So I come to 2021 a paradox. In the flesh, I am utterly worn-out. My Christmas break was too short and much interrupted and I’m just about relaxed enough to actually have a break and get something out of it – but I go back to work (and nagging my daughter about schoolwork, which is more stressful) on Monday. The inner toddler is SCREAMING. She is not okay. “I”, whoever it is “I” am, look on the spectacle in concern. “Something must be done”.
But it is not for me to do. I learned in 2020 a lesson I had to learn in my marriage, before it was restored… there is only so much that can be done in the flesh. It is not for me to do, not for me to change. I have tilted at windmills. And now it is for me to see what God will do.
In the meantime, yes – I have desires. I look at my life and see a mosaic of bits and pieces. I picked up a bit here and a piece there, because I was missing this or that or the other thing. I move from inside one box to inside another, and that has its function – I give myself completely to whatever box I am in. But I’m TIRED of changing tiny boxes. I’d like to do a few big things and give them a lot more time and attention.
I could play the game and write down goals and lists and plans. I’m very good at all that. It is harder to be honest and say, “I am waiting upon the Lord, and in the meantime, I am walking forward as He directs”. “I am giving things up, because I want to make room”. “Hope”.
As I said, I’ve heard from others … I am no more special in the tone of this year’s promise than I am in the bruises I’m carrying from last year. Hope. Keep moving. Walk on. Fight on. Be repaired. See doors open. Those are promises given to other women. For me, it is “restoration”. And as I could not have predicted the riches and tender mercies that I was given in one restoration, I will trust that likewise this restoration will leave me breathless in awe.
But today? Today is still hard.