Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Year Ahead

 Before you read this post, please make sure you read this introduction first.

So much ground has been traveled in the past year and never before has a year been so easy to recall and recount than the one that began on my wedding day. I walked into marriage with some new diagnoses, aware that my daily realities would be changing just as much from my medical treatments as from my marriage.

The beginning brought with it a lot of opportunities to seek Christ on my knees. I am convinced He hears me loudest when I have no strength in my legs to stand. So with a humble, quivering heart - I encountered my marriage and my spouse and Christ in a new way when I entered into the sacrament of matrimony. None of the journey has been anything but purposeful. All of it has allowed me to see God's purpose for my life. And while very little of it might have been a path I might have chosen myself, there is beauty in the suffering that I walked because Christ has been so very close to me the entire way.

The year ahead will be filled with the knowledge that I have approached God's call to me and taken it on, irrespective of what it required of me. And I know my eternal reward is now tied to the soul of my spouse.

The year ahead will be filled with more medical unraveling, more answers, maybe some more mysteries, and hopefully some big successes. The focus will remain on my health. Anything more is welcome, but it is not expected.

The year ahead will be lived with gratefulness for how sweet life is even in its most minimal, tiny moments. And how overwhelming it is in the big moments. And how lucky we are to be able to experience the carousel that is all of them weaved together.

The year ahead will bring remembrance off the humble beginnings and underpinnings of the thing that is my marriage. It won't be taken for granted, because we know all too well how fragile and resilient it can be and has been.

The year ahead will bring good things because I will choose to see good things. And those things will be fruitful. And my marriage will be blessed exponentially because of that effort - no matter how exhausting that effort may make me.

The year ahead will be dedicated to finding the good, the holy, the infinite, the kind, the necessary, the timely, the graceful, and the beautiful things. It will be spent in that effort more than any selfish want I otherwise have. I will be grateful for what that exploration brings, even (and especially) when I cannot conceive of it.

The year ahead will be focused on hoping, however futile that mission may seem or be at this time next year. Our days are numbered on Earth and we are not in possession of the counter and I may never get another chance to look back in hope for greener pastures. Paul didn't get to do that, neither did Nathan, neither did my godmother, and perhaps Zulma may not be able to as well.

The year ahead will be under the spiritual direction of my children, who have gone before the Lord ahead of me - to speak on my behalf and intercede for me. Any endeavors that I undertake - professional or otherwise - will be done so keenly aware of the cause for Life and in support of it in some way.

The year ahead will be focused on living a more Christ-like existence because of the opportunity to suffer this past year. My prayer life will be expanded. My direction will be changed. My love will be cultivated and given more freely. My words will be more careful. I will be quicker to humor and slower to criticism. I will be faster to forgive and slower to condemn. I will spend this next year in search of virtue instead of success.

There is no competition that can attract me in the days head. My eyes are focused on God and my marriage and in the purification both can offer me - being one through the other and one in the same.

Jesus died on the cross so that I might find my way home someday. He knew my struggles before I bore them under my own weight. He knew my pain before it was felt. He knew my hopes and dreams and desires before I was even knit together and able to have them.

In the year ahead, Christ will rejoice with me. And I will look back at the next 365 days as a different person, with a changed heart, living in a marriage that I made with the hard work and nurturing I offered it. The struggle will be beautiful and worth the promise of the eternal reward.

And all of that will be Truth that I can see. Because all things are possible...


  1. My heart smiled as it read this. "I am convinced he hears me loudest when I have no strength in my legs to stand." Amen. I think it is because there, finally when we have no strength we realize that the only strength we ever had to begin with comes from Him and it is there that we quit fighting Him and allow His strength to support us.

    He is trustworthy, my friend. He is trustworthy.

  2. I love the hope permeating your words. Such a hard virtue! Here's to a fantastic 2nd year of marriage!!