Geography

2020 was a booger.

I said booger instead of a string of curse words because I’ve been asking God to help me tame my tongue. There are days when I think the only way that will be accomplished is if He pulls it out. I have a flair for dirty words and I like to say them. So I’m working on that diligently.

So I chose the word booger, you can interject your word in if you think it’s more appropriate.

It was a booger way before October 17th, that date just put things in complete perspective. I wish now my biggest problem in life was wearing a mask and/or staying home. Perspective.

I keep saying, “I’ll be so glad when this year is over.” I’ll be glad when this year is a memory, an afterthought, dust.

This morning, as I was listening to a lesson on God’s word, the Holy Spirit smacked me around a little. He does that, you know. I liken it to that biff on the back of the head you got from an upper classman on the school bus. The unexpected flick that causes you to duck your head and brings tears to your eyes. Sometimes tears of pain, sometimes of humility.

When my kids were young, I would tell them to pick up their things. Socks, dishes, toys…whatever. And they would quickly pick it up, but instead of putting it where it went, they would just move it to another spot. I’d tell them, “That’s just geography.” All they did was make it travel from one location to the next but the mess was still there. Geography.

And then they had to do it right. Usually with an eye roll or a foot stomp, sometimes with mouthy words that brought out a Tracey Soden episode. But they still had to do it again, and sometimes again after that. Until it was right.

2020 has been a booger. And 2021 is so close now we can see the ball being raised.

But the challenges and the heartbreak will still be there on January 2. All the ‘fresh start’ I beg for is still going to be marred by the absence of my son.

So what do I do with that. That’s what woke me up this morning at 4:00. That’s what I’ve been chewing on. What now? Where from here?

I’ve picked up my sadness and depression and I just keep setting it down in different places. Moving it from obstacle to obstacle with no end in sight. It’s just geography.

God’s plan for me isn’t despair. I have suffered the greatest loss you can experience. I am not going to wonder around for 40 years looking for an answer. I have to pick my cross up and figure out what to do with it. Not because it’s a New Year. But because that’s what God expects me to do.

I know he will make a way for me. I know part of that is going to SUCK. It’s sucks right now. There are so many days I wake up and wish I hadn’t. Meals I cook that remind me of Kade, favorite foods that he would have asked for Ken to drop by on his way to work. Movies and tv series that I can’t bare to watch. The Stand series just dropped and I was so excited to talk to him and Kendall about it. He was in the middle of reading The Hobbit and I’ll never get to talk to him about it. I have an emptiness and I have all of this pain.

Like it or not, I’m going to drag that into this new year. The country is still in turmoil. Covid. Job loss and financial hardships. Fear and uncertainty. All of that is going to trudge right along behind us as 2020 becomes 2021.

But what are you going to do with it?

I know what I WANT to do with it. I have a plan. I have things I’ve resolved to do or not do. I do every year. I make a list…

Then tear it up about January 15th in defeat.

So this year my plans are to pray and listen. That’s it. Just those two things.

Then follow through with the help of the Holy Spirit. I don’t want to just keep picking all of this up and putting it down in a different spot. That’s just geography.

I don’t know if 2021 will be better in any of the areas we are struggling in. In fact, maybe it will get worse.

But in this chaos, there is opportunity. You can keep picking up the negative and laying them down where you must pick them up again.

Or

You can pick them up and listen to what God wants for you to do with them.

The hardship will still be there, but I have faith that peace will surround it. Hope will follow.

I have peace about Kade . I know where he is and that he is whole. My hope is that in my grief, something good comes of it.

And even though 2020 was full of so much heartbreak for so many, there was also incredible blessing.

May your 2021 be full of blessings. May your heartache turn to healing. May your peace and joy outshine your sadness. May your prayers be full of Thanksgiving.

But may your life be full of the Father and His Son and your companion, the Holy Spirit. No matter what year it is. Pick it up and put it where God directs you, then you won’t have to pick it up again.

That’s what new really is.

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