Thursday, December 17, 2009

Looking Back - 2009

"Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light
The hopes and fears
of all the years
Are met in thee tonight"

Subway Signs

Two weeks left in the year.

And - oh - what a year. What a stinkin', wearying, troublesome, trying year.

I acknowledge that nothing absolutely catastrophic happened to me this year. I acknowledge that some good things did happen to me this year. But generally speaking, when I look back over the events of this year, it is not with much fondness.

I started to write more on this - why I'm struggling, why 2009 sucked sardines, why I just want December to be over already - but those words kept coming out overly maudlin and morose. And not at all edifying. So I deleted them.

But don't fear, dear readers, for in the absence of edifying words, I have a plan.

A plan to stand in the face of maudlin moroseness, a plan to guide my thoughts when reflecting back upon this hard, sardine-sucking year. My plan is two-fold, and it is this:

a) Get Closure. This superwoman offers up a great completion ritual for 2009, and I'm going to give it a try. As she writes, "Whatever happened, your aim is to celebrate what there is to celebrate about [the year] and grieve what there is to grieve..." and then get to a place where you can declare 2009 to be complete.

b) Focus on Advent. The message gets buried so easily under mountains of tinsel and lengthy shopping lists, but this season is about waiting and watching, and having hope that God keeps His promises. That God can and will redeem painful situations. That He listens and draws near to us. That we are not forsaken.

I read an encouraging blog post about Advent recently. It's worth a read, if you have the time.

So to recap: I'll be closing out 2009. And looking ahead - not to 2010, because who knows what that year will hold. But looking ahead to what I can be sure of:

"O come, Thou Day-Spring
Come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death's dark shadows put to flight
Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, o Israel"

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