on a less-than-perfect start to a year, and second chances

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. John 1:1-3

This year has gotten off to a shaky start. 2013 was full and challenging and nourishing and I am g-r-a-t-e-f-u-l. I didn’t want to let go of it, as evidenced by the spilling over of 2014 happenings in the 2013 journal, this year which I haven’t been ready to embrace.

This year, I know, holds much of which I am afraid. Changes in the tide; changes in circumstance, career, life-patterns, friendships, church, family. Much of which I wish I could just halt for a while, hold at arms’ length.

When I think about it, of course I don’t want to stay stuck in one place – oh of course I long to be obedient and feel the narrow yet wide open Way of faith beneath my feet. I long to tread faithfully forwards, one step in front of another (and just enough Light for each) rather than stay put, expending energy on a treadmill.

And yet when these sea changes approach, like they did at the dawn of 2014 as I sat holding my mama’s hands and tears – tears of gratefulness, of anticipation, of fear, of loving-being-little again – I cower and retreat.

So it was a less than euphoric start to the year, exacerbated by having to leave my beloved family and coming back to London where the lessons are rich but the everyday often tough. And then my mental retreat manifested in a numbingly-physical form as I found myself sick, and prescribed nothing other than ‘rest’. So here I rest.

Resting and retreating, and the words have dried up. But yesterday, as I lay here and made the decision not to get on a plane and visit a friend as planned and instead…more rest…something ever so small stirred in amongst the quiet peace that I surprisingly felt about the decision.

In the beginning was the Word. With a breath, all things were birthed into meaning. Deep within a place of nothingness and retreat, a spark flickers. The Word, stirring up hope and a new beginning.

And so, even if I find myself…still resting, I step forward and open my hands a little to 2014. Thankful for second, and third, and countless chances. And shake off the dust to write a little. Because I think our words, as reflections of the one in whose image they are formed, play a part in breathing better stories into our lives, one word at a time.

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