“Sunrise, sunset, sunrise, sunset, swiftly flow the days….”
Naked in the isolate, breathing earth’s air, having just been forced out of the comfort of the womb. The tattered baby book records the time as 8:45 a.m. Birth weight and length note a very small baby. The tiny footprints stamped on the birth certificate give the new one an identity. What did she think as she squinted, trying to open her dark eyes to the brightness of the room. She had been bathed in warmth and comfort. Now she was cold and shivering.
As the story goes, my father struggled to get there. It was winter and a fresh layer of ice covered the roads making travel treacherous. It was the practice of the time for mothers to stayed bedridden for the first two weeks, having little connection to their little one. I wonder if I sensed that I belonged?
New beginning, a new life and also an ending. The date of my birth was December 31st, the last day of the old year.
Today another ending, another beginning. Actually two beginnings. Today I begin the new year of 2015 and the first day of my next year of life.
I’m thinking back to previous “new years”. As a child the new year often slid in with a thud. Would life be different this year? What was planned for me? How would I navigate the tragedies of an alcoholic home? Would I find my identity this year, the purpose for my existence? Was I a mistake?
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every day was laid out before a single day has passed. Psalm 139:15 & 16
I didn’t learn those verses were written to me until well into my adulthood. They are a comfort to me now when struggles of my identity come whispering. I didn’t have those assurances as a child, I believe it would have made life easier.
My mother, an unwed, very young woman who hardly knew who she was had little capacity to infuse self-worth or identity into me.
That was then. Years have passed and there have been many endings and new beginnings….67 of them to be exact. The number doesn’t define me, it numbers the days written in God’s book that have already taken place. Today begins the 68th year of my life.
I am searching for my word for this year, the word God has written in my book that will be my traveling companion for 2015. I’ve heard a couple of phrases that might work. “Celebrate whom I have become and am becoming.” Another one…”walking into life with expectation and wonder”. Another one is simply “possibility”.
I’m not certain I’ve heard my word or phrase yet. I’ll be patient and wait, not wanting to grab what isn’t authentic for me just to fill the void. In my wait I want to remember His words written to me so long ago…. Every day of my life was recorded in His book (emphasis and paraphrase mine).
What does this new year hold for me? There are likely treacherous places to travel, I want to approach those with expectation and wonder instead of fear. He knows the outcome. Where will He connect me with others? Will some long-held hopes and dreams materialize? I’m pondering those questions with a renewed courage. I’m holding His promises closely to my heart. I have His assurance. He wrote the story, He knows the journey. He carries the Light that illuminates my path for this next chapter, this new year.
Valerie Avery treasures the journey of embracing all God has gifted her with including creating art and beauty using fibers, beads and nature. The bond of 46 years of marriage has created a legacy as mother to 5 and “Grammie” to 20. She is venturing into the world of writing and is grateful for a place to share stories of growth and hope. You can read more here.