“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
The year 2011 has been a wicked year for our family on both sides. I’m anxious for it to end; to step over the line into 2012 (I’m picturing a thick chalk line on the sidewalk and I’ll take a big step over so I don’t step on the chalk and smear 2011 into 2012). I wish, in some ways, that we could erase the blotchy black spots of 2011; as if they never happened. Yet, those black spots, more so than the happy pink and yellow balloon days, have made us who we are today. My Girl has “Jeremiah 29:11” tattooed on her upper back along the edges of a beautiful floral design. It is her favorite verse. It is a verse I have clung to this year. The Message version of Jeremiah 29:11 is even more comforting to me: “I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.”
“I know what I’m doing.” I can’t tell you the number of times I have said, “Why, Lord? Why?” Only He knows. For now.
My sweet friend, Susan, just texted me a great idea. She suggested I go out and purchase a new article of clothing that only I can see and know about as a sign of the New Me for 2012. I immediately suggested a Diamond Tennis Bracelet would be more to my desires, but I liked the idea. And I’m going to do it.
Beginning today, we will start packing up my father-in-law’s life into boxes, move it in trucks to a new home and help him start over. My heart and gut ache at the thought for him. It is more difficult for him to step over the chalk mark of 2011 into 2012. He won’t be able to do it without a smear mark. Much more so than I, he will be unable to leave any part of 2011 behind. Whereas I am able to see and cherish the yellows and pinks and moments of joy of 2011, he clings only to the black; the sadness and pain. If you think of it, could you toss up a prayer for him that he is able to find some joy and peace and comfort in 2012?
You probably won’t hear much from me until well into the first week of January. The next three days will be busy (my husband brought me back a Venti instead of a Grande…even he recognizes I need the extra energy today!) I am taking a day next week for my mini-retreat. I expect I’ll be blogging about that sometime soon.
Happy New Year…love you guys! And so does the One who has it all planned out.