I'm not really sad to leave 2010 behind. Honestly, it's been the most difficult year of my life. Losing Papa Chuck was so hard...going through all of our "firsts" without him this year, and watching my Ami struggle bravely through it has torn at my heart. It's changed all of us. We cherish our time together more, but there's also a lingering sadness. We've been reminded that nothing lasts forever. (Other than God's love, but even then, I need to be reminded sometimes!)
It's been a difficult year for me jobwise, too. Two positions that I had hoped and prayed for didn't happen, and one was flat-out taken right out from under me. It's been hard to trust any principal--or have any desire to work in an elementary school. Being a substitute teacher for 2.5 years was supposed to help me find a fulltime position to move into. But it hasn't. It's just left me feeling empty, unimportant, and utterly and completely used. I still yearn to be an elementary teacher--it's what I've wanted my whole life! But I've put that on the shelf for now. I don't know why God works things the way He does, but I'm done trying to fight for the things I want.
If there was a theme for 2010, it would be "Make Lemonade." That's why this blog is here. That's why I have my Etsy shop, and that's why our house has been overflowing with handmade projects. I've learned that very little of anything is actually in my control (I've also discovered that I'm a bit of a control freak!). I've learned to go with the flow...ish. I'm working on it :-) But I've also taken my sadness and desperation and feelings of inadequacy and put that energy into making things. I had a wonderful experience at my first boutique in November, I've loved being involved in various blogging communities, and I've loved creating things for others.
What do I hope for 2011? Peace. I want the theme of this new year to be Fulfillment in Christ. This past year, I learned how to be joyful in spite of things, but this upcoming year, I want to be joyful. Period. I've always know that God has full power over my life, but I spent a lot of this year begrudging of it. I want to be at full peace with His plans for me. Joyfully anticipating instead of sullenly accepting.
Yeah, this year didn't turn out the way I thought it would. Shock! I'm not putting up any expectations for next year. God has promised us that He has it all laid out in a perfect tapestry that we can't even imagine. Maybe it will take getting to Heaven before it all makes sense, but I'm hoping it will come before that :-)
Sometimes I have to look back to get some real perspective. This is a journal entry I wrote weeks before our wedding:
We're still counting down the days to April 11th, the day we find out the church at which Jesse will be placed for internship--until then, I don't know what district to request for my student teaching! Also, Jesse's internship is only one year, after which he can either accept a call to that church (if they really need a DCE), or move on and find something else. If I'm finished with student teaching in December and looking for a teaching position after that, I won't know if we will really be staying there or not until probably July.
I raised my concerns with Professor O'Connor. She put her hand on my shoulder and reminded me that God will take care of things. "He always does, and He always does a better job!" she said comfortingly.
It made me realize that I've been forgetting that sometimes lately. I've always been so trusting and have found it so easy to give everything to God. Maybe right now I'm having a harder time with that because these are the biggest unknowns I've ever faced: where are we going to be placed? where are we going to live? how are we going to afford to live? what happens after student teaching? where will we be after Jesse's internship?
A pretty big step from "where am I going to college?" !!!
But then on my walk back from class, I realized something:
I may be facing the biggest "unknowns" of my life, but I'm also confident of some really big "knowns" as well:
- I have God on my side, and He's going to make everything happen exactly the way He wants it to, and
- I'm marrying the love of my life in less than three months! Whether we live in a Mansion, Apartment, Shack, or House (MASH, anyone?) we're going to be happy! I love him so much, and loving him for the rest of my life is ALL I want for the rest of my life...so with him and with God, I'm set.
It's going to be a wonderful life!
And it IS a wonderful life! I'm so thankful for all of the things that God has provided for us. We are so blessed. And in my selfish nature, I lose sight of that somehow. I want 2011 to be a year of living out God's promises, trusting in Him to provide, and being joyful through everything.