I sit at the end of the year and wonder. What a year it has been. A year ago we started out in hope and trepidation. We fought battles of contentment in the first couple of months. We grew more content with who we were right now together. We still longed for another to join our team but we tried to hold steady in the present.
I started a job I was patently unsuited for and cried many tears. The darkness swirled around me and I was lost in the storm. Then a strange thing happened. The stick pronounced what we had longed for all this time. Sickness followed. Visiting Chicago followed. May and time with friends followed. June and July blurred into a mix of counting down days until I could stop sitting in a room on my own in tears for three days a week. August brought frustration and September brought a new land to dance in. October brought the end of dancing and the long haul waiting frustration settled in. Then the bomb went off.
Ethan exploded into our world. My heart feels wrenched apart. How could we have longed for such joy and fear all at the same time? Love brings pain. Love brings vulnerability. Love brings a terror of what each moment might offer us in this new world. My brain is a scrambled mess. My son smiles and gurgles up at me and slowly I can feel my soul restored. My son cries deep and my soul wrenches apart again. I have no words to describe this life entwining my emotions with his. What pain have I opened myself up to? What delight is yet to come?
I walk on. We walk on, knowing that team work will get us through this. We are together in a raging storm of wonder and delight, of mighty works, of fear and dread. We are together. I have joy in my heart but it often plays in a minor key. I am grateful but it’s tempered with fear. This song was the theme of the later part of 2011 and I embrace it now as we walk into 2013. Whatever comes I will know this joy in a minor key in my heart and long to know, as He has always taught me to say, that it will be well with my soul.
Obligatory best of section:
Best albums: Josh Garrels- Love, War and the Sea Inbetween, Martyn Joseph- Songs for the Coming Home, The Treme Soundtrack, Bruce Springsteen- Wrecking Ball, Ben Howard- Every Kingdom
YouTube discoveries: John and Hank Green and the lovely Hudson Taylor
Chrispy Onion book of the year: The Pastor by Eugene Peterson. Blissful joy at what being a Pastor is all about.
Book of the year: Blimey I’m not sure. Enjoyed the Hunger Games and The Fault in our Stars. Also loved listening to Miranda’s book and David Mitchell’s on Audio book which got me through the first few weeks of long night feeding sessions with the boy.
Child of the year: Er. Ethan clearly. Although we enjoyed Talitha JK, Matthew and Jonathan Arnold, Brendan Cunningham, our two Godsons Samuel V and Samuel T and all our church kids.
Random moment of the year: Husbandface arranging tuition for a midwife’s daughter as I was in labour…
Trip of the year: Chicago Baby. Genius fun times despite throwing up lots.
DIY expert of the year: Dad (MBE) for making good use of his retirement by putting in a new bathroom.
Hero of the year: Husbandface for patience with all my tears, love through the hard times, amazing support throughout the scary labour/hospital experience, pointing me back to the One who made us and holds us and generally being brilliant.