New Year's Tears
Updated: Sep 15, 2021
I have never cried my way into the new year before, but I guess there truly is a first for everything.
My husband wiped my snotty nose as I blabbed through my tears. Gibberish of not wanting to celebrate the new year because it doesn’t change my circumstance. I knew I wouldn’t magically wake up on the 1st feeling fresh and new despite my ridiculous subconscious hope that it might be possible. I spoke nonsense of bitterness towards my undeserved pain. I raged of anxiety of future events and my lack of control. New Year’s Eve had my mind spiraling. I was playing pin the tail on the donkey, grasping at straws to try and blame my emotional upset on something… anything. As I listened to the booming of fireworks echoing in the distance, I knew the simple truth was this: I was missing my son.
I miss him. Every day. All the time. What lies at the very heart of all my frustration, anger, denial, bitterness, and anxiety is the deepest, purest sadness. All these emotions and attempts to blame are just byproducts of my grief. They are the bloody layers of gauze to cover the wound. I missed my son in 2018. I miss him in 2019. And I will miss him every new year to come. I don’t know why it is so hard for me to grasp this concept or why it’s harder to live it. Perhaps it’s because it is unfair.
Moving forward is a funny thing. How could I so desperately want to leave 2018 behind, but be terrified of what 2019 may hold? I cringed as the clock counted down and I had only moments before the only year in which my son lived was about to end. So much in this life happens to us. And time is the delivery boy by which those happenings arrive. Whether you want to stay or go, time doesn’t care. Time strips us of all control.
I think we all believe we want to live in the future. Live for what lies ahead. It’s why we post motivational quotes like, “Write your own story,” and “Be the change.” But the truth is, we all live in the past. It’s more comfortable, including the painful parts. Why? Because we know it. Our pain is familiar. Despite the fact that it hurts like a son of a bitch, it’s safe. We can trust the past because it does not change.
But the new year is unpredictable. I can hope and be as expectant as I can possibly be, and still have no idea what’s to come. Maybe the reason we throw big parties and make resolutions is, in part, to try and forget that we are all just a little bit terrified of the future.
God must have modeled time after himself. For He is both trustworthy and unpredictable. This must be the reason why I long to trust Him but have such a hard time doing so. I am both comforted by and scared of Him.
Someone asked me if I was going to make a new year’s resolution. I hastily told them no. I must admit, in past years I have been extremely eager to make some new change or challenge myself. But I am not who I was. Fear lurks inside me. Why would I give life yet another opportunity to disappoint me? I believe God is good. But is He going to be good to me this year?
I heard a line in a song that said, “I am confident I will see your goodness.” This convicted me. Because I am realizing that I am not confident that I will see God’s blessings this next year. I harbor an anxiety towards the future. I am not confident I will see God’s goodness… but I want to be.
So I’ll start with what I know, my past blessings. I will seek out the Lord’s goodness in my husband and my living son. I will enjoy the fellowship of family and make my friendships a priority. For these are all the Lord’s goodness. And by focusing on the things I already know I can trust, I believe I will be more apt to see God’s goodness this year even if the future is grim.
Living in confidence is chancy. But it is a better way to live. What I’m saying is, I would rather be let down and have lived joyfully, than lived in fear only to have those fears confirmed.
God’s goodness isn’t controlled by time. His goodness overwhelms my memory, it lives life alongside me, and it awaits me in the future. And God promises he has more for us than this. I’ll do my best to ride the waves with a smile on my face most of the time. I will expect God to show up this year in a mighty way, because I think He honors confidence in who he says he is, and because I believe he loves me deeply.
So cheers! To confidence in His goodness. May we all do our best this year to see it.