I do a year-in-review note for myself and my friends every year, but this year called for something a little different. I knew I needed to summarize 2009 somehow. To tell the faithfulness of my amazing God, especially this year, but didn't know quite how to do it.
Well, after reading a blog post by a friend this fall, I got to thinking about seasons. I noticed how closely life can resemble nature's seasons and was compelled to start writing about my year along those lines. So, while it's different in style than usual and a little longer, here is my year-in-review story, Part I:
I'll begin where the calendar did, with winter. My least favourite season. The earth around is dead and lifeless, lacking the vibrant colour and fruitfulness of the other seasons. Sure, I enjoy snowball fights and playing in the snow with the kids, wool coats and tall boots, hot tea and Christmas, but the best part of winter is knowing spring will follow.
Last winter was hard. I spent a lot of time in doctor's offices, filling out a lot of paperwork, and dealing with the big mess of a workplace injury that left me without a job and, at least for a season, without many of the physical capabilities that I usually took for granted.
I had so many of questions for God. I knew He wasn't obligated to give me reasons, to tell me why and what He was doing. I knew better than to question whether He was in control or whether He had good plans in mind. But still. It was five months of, often intense, rhetorical questioning: WHY?! Months of fighting bitterness as continued work made things worse. Fighting for faith when I couldn't see an end to the pain.
Growing up, I've been kind of proud of being the strong one, the healthy one. The one that rarely gets down sick and never had to see a doctor. I may not have many special skills, but I could manage nearly any manual labour anyone gave me to do, and employers were certainly no exception. Suddenly that all changed. Now I not only was useless to my employer, but to my family, and, to some degree, myself. I just plain needed help and I very much resented that. God, surely I'm more useful when healthy and strong? I'm sure I could serve You a lot better if this would just go away!
(Or, maybe not. Maybe He could better use someone not so self-sufficient?)
It was a season of silence. Cold silence. But, not unlike the intensity of winter's sunbeams, the support of true friends was priceless and renewed my hope that spring would come and bring life to my world. Winter couldn't last forever.
(Continue to Part II!)
(Continue to Part II!)