Saturday, December 31, 2005

As 2005 draws to a close...

If all goes according to plan, I will be at a party tomorrow night, ringing in the New Year with my Oasis family. Provided the weather improves and I am able to get there, that is.

In the meantime, I've been reflecting on the past year, and I have to say, I'm glad 2005 will very soon be history.

Of course, the new year is just an imaginary line in the sand. Time does not know boundaries and limits. It does not know that it has been divided up into years, months, weeks...moments. Aside from our practical purposed for breaking time into bite-size pieces, I think the act of bringing in the new year enables us to break psychological ties with the less pleasant aspects of the things that happened the previous year. It helps make life a little easier to process.

This past year has been a difficult one. When I think of it, I think of hurt and betrayal. I think of the security I felt at the beginning of the year, compared with the free-fall I feel like I'm experiencing now. I think of all I've been asked to endure, all the pain I've had to process between work and personal relationships...and I think that it is true, what does not kill us only makes us stronger. Still, I'm ready to move forward from pain into healing.

This past year was not all about pain and betrayal, of course. I have developed stronger relationships with my friends, and that has been a tremendous blessing. Herbie and I have developed a surprisingly strong friendship, and I've gone from a devastatingly mad crush on him to having the quiet safety of our friendship as a haven throughout many of the trials I've been experiencing. I have found tremendous value in him as a friend, and that by far outweighs any dreamy ideals I had about what I had once hoped our relationship would become.

Pain and endurance have taught me what comfort and ease could never teach me about God and how He works. I have learned of His faithfulness in ways I never would have otherwise. Even this past week, a friend was asking me how my finances were holding up as I got my business going. I told him it was tight, but I would manage, as I've been broke for about six months now. Then on Thursday, this same friend pulled me aside, told me someone had asked him to check on me, and that he had something to give me on the condition that I did not ask about where it came from. I agreed to the terms, and he handed me an envelope, which contained enough money to cover my expenses until I get my commission from the sale of my first policies (which I am enrolling next Thursday, by the way). It is just like God to work that way. Throughout this past year, I have seen time and again where God leaves me hanging just long enough, then He comes through in the most surprising ways at the moment when I feel like I just can't hang on any longer.

God works differently in different people. Over the last few months, His preferred method with me seems to be to let me hang on until I can't hang on any longer, then my grip fails and I fall on His mercy. I've been taken down to the wire many times, only to learn more assuredly every time that God is faithful, and He will come through. "He is not a tame lion." I do not always understand His methods, but I can trust His heart.

As I write this, I can't help feeling some sadness as well. I long to share my life and love with someone. It has been one of the strongest desires of my heart over the past year or so. I know there are a lot of other things going on in my life right now, and you would think they would be a distraction from that desire. But, women are excellent multi-taskers...The men I know do not seem to like me, at least not beyond seeing me as a friend. I feel so lonely sometimes, it literally hurts. A dull ache, but a persistent one. If there was one thing I hoped to receive in 2005, it was the gift of finally being with the man God has chosen for me. Of all the things I could be sad about when I look at this past year, it is that one thing that leaves me hoping 2006 has better things in store.

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