|Last Sunrise of 2012
It's the first day of the new year when I pack Christmas away in boxes and drag that dead tree right out to the alley.
And it's true.
I feel a bit of loss here, all these symbols of hope tucked back into hiding for another year and this one big empty space where the Tree of Rejoicing once stood.
But there's also this: A sense of starting over, or maybe just starting again, a fresh year unfurling right here and now.
And I leave that empty space where it is, maybe because I don't want things to be the way they were before--and maybe because I'm finally starting to sense what this whole year's heartache might really be about.
I named 2012 the Year of Home, and I felt it strong and sure that somehow, some way I'd be making my home in Christ, laying down all these notions of being a woman without a home, a woman who doesn't belong. But these last 12 months, they've ripped me open and emptied me right out and left me a bit wounded and wondering. The year I thought would be about rebuilding a life has been mostly about tearing down and throwing out and letting go and laying it all down.
And, oh, it's been hard.
But it's the last week of 2012 when I stumble upon those words of a friend, the ones he spoke over me from the start: God wants to be a home for His beloved just as much as He wants to be at home in His beloved. I might've thought I knew a bit of what this meant, but did I really know anything at all?
I said it once, how I have my suspicions about who's really naming who when it comes to the christening of a year. But I know it now, down in the marrow of a soul, that God's the real Namer of us all. He asks me to name the year Home because He's asking me this one thing:
Will you let Me be your home, Beloved?
And I say Yes with my whole life because I'm this woman who's weary of all the wandering, laid low by all the loss and the leaving, and what I want most? It's a home that can't be taken.
It's 12 months later when I finally see it clear, how this wholehearted Yes has opened me up to the God Who doesn't do a single thing halfway. I might've thought I could build a home in Him with all these pieces of the past, the places I used to call home and the woman I used to be. But God says No, tells me to let it all go, and I come to the end of a year with the soil of a life scraped bare and a heart that's a bit empty and aching.
But just like that big empty space where a Tree of Beauty used to stand, I don't want to be filled up again with what used to be here. Because this year's just about cost me everything I've got, and I haven't been ripped wide open so that I can go back to the way things were before. I'm figuring it out at last that to make a home in Christ, we've got to let Him make Himself at home in us first.
And the only way to make room in a soul for the infinite God?
Say Yes with our whole lives and let Him tear us apart, clear out every last thing that holds Him at bay.
I name 2012 the Year of Home because I want to make my home in Christ. But God names the year Home because He wants to make Himself at home in me. And maybe the last thing I expected from all these months was to stand here feeling emptied.
But maybe it's always the last thing we expect that makes the impossible possible.
We say Yes to God and He says Yes right back, does what we don't even know needs doing.
This past year, I've grieved and I've lost and I've ached and I've felt abandoned by God. But I'm standing here in the wake of all that's been and I'm sure of this one thing: It's been worth it.
Because God's making the impossible possible.
God's doing the impossible.
God's making Himself at home in the broken body of His beloved.
And I couldn't be more grateful for a year that's cost me everything and given me Everything in return.
Yes, My Friends, it's been a year full of heartache but a year full of Him. And it's been pure Grace to be companioned on the hard road by each of you. Thank you, with all my heart and soul, for prayers and friendship and words of truth along the way. You are each a gift, straight from the hand of Our God. May the new year bring you the last thing you expect--God making the impossible possible.