Friday, May 3, 2013

on choosing, five months in.

{Banner by Jimmy Marble}

A couple of weeks ago, my dad told me I probably need to be a little more careful when selecting a word for the year. His suggestions for 2014? Peace or quiet or calm.

Because it turns out that when you deem choose your word for the year, you immediately become bombarded with all kinds of choices, both major and minor, life-changing and mundane, all of which require decision and action, sometimes before the day is over. 

2013 has not been the year I expected. That's not to say it has been unenjoyable or unpleasant or cruel. It simply means it is not possibly what I could have anticipated for me or for my family back when January first began. I expect a lot out of my new years, always knowing full well the end result will not ever look like the original plan. It's a habit now, so I am fairly accustomed to a change in the overall look of things. This year, though, I just simply could not have predicted this much change, this much movement, this much influx. 

Friends began making plans to move. Church hurts resurfaced and stayed there. Job plans have become murky and uncertain. A potential and literal move for our little family may be on the horizon, in more ways than one. (And no, dear readers, we are not pregnant. At this moment, the thought alone sends me over the edge.) 

All of these changes -- which, in and of themselves, would be challenging and big enough -- have together resulted in lots of decision-making, much of which has been painful and burdensome and tiring.

I am trying to choose things like patience and grace and forgiveness, things like health and yoga and good books. I am trying to choose deep breaths and journaled thoughts and spoken-aloud prayers.

The truth is, though, there have been more than a few meltdowns. I have burst into tears and cursed at falling curtain rods and wondered what on earth was happening to my lovely, much-loved life. 

My word for the year currently looks a lot like overwhelmed

I didn't think when I announced choose as my 2013 word, I'd be forced to choose new decisions for our family in almost every aspect of our lives. For a girl who doesn't handle change well, it's been a rough couple of months, a true test of my maturity and my patience and my strength. 

"You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely," writes Eugene Patterson in The Message (James 1). "Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. 

"If you don't know what you're doing, pray to the Father." 

Maybe it's oversimplified advice, but these days, I'm taking it. As much as I tend to rely on pro-con lists and common sense, I realize the best decisions of my life have come when I took leaps of faith after speaking big prayers. Jordan and I agree that when you pray, you better be ready to move (literally, sure, but metaphorically, definitely). We've prayed for doors to open, and now they are. They're not the doors we could have anticipated -- nor are they the ones I believe we would have chosen -- but they are there, and they are open, waiting for us to decide: in or out? 

Of course, it's not a black and white decision. None of the choices we're making are. And so, it's painful, and I'm counting the days until I can get to the water with my family, until I can read and pray and come to terms with 2013 as it is, not as it was planned to be. 

So, there it is. The truth about what happens when you pick words for the year, and they maybe slap you in the face a little bit. I'd love to know how 2013 is treating you. Maybe someone, somewhere, is experiencing the same things? Do share. That's what the internet's for, isn't it?

6 comments:

aepeyton said...

Annie,

Thank you so much for sharing so much about your life. Your honesty is truly refreshing. Last year was the hardest year of my life filled with high highs and very low lows. I'm so thankful that I went through all I did now though. It's always about the setup for the next stage in life.

While a lot of what is going on right now might not make sense, you'll look back and realize why you had to endure the struggles & experience the joys. Keep your head high, your prayers loud, and continue working it all out through this amazing blog with the help of the people you love!

Best of luck,
Ashley

Evelyn Esmeralda said...

Hi! Thank you so much for sharing all that with the world. I needed all that so much. 2013 started very bad and it keeps changing and changing. First, family issues, and now a long distance relationship (he in the states, me in argentina) came to and end. When the only thing that have you away from the person you love is a plane ticket (money)it makes you completely desperate, and it gets worst when youhave to say goodbye becouse we can´t be together but we still love each other like crazy. It´s being just a week since we decide to break up, i´ve never tought i could cry so much and feel so so down and blocked and worn out, and that my brain, my body and my hurt courl hurt so much. As you say, sometimes we have to let the pain be, and takes it course to healing the proper way. I just wish this pain goes away fast. I wish i could sleep for a long time or travel somewhere beautil and just have mi mind in peace. I´m sorry i´ve written all this, i just needed to tell someone. Thank you so much. your words were just what i needed. Than you so much again.

Sabrina said...

Loving the new pic! It looks like you, just grown up:)
2013 is treating me well. I have hope for a new job and a move to Atlanta. Life changes for friends and family are providing joy. Work is work, and that is OK. I have run around and around with choices related to work...stay or go? Then I remembered that it will all work out. My choice is not going to make or break anyone...including myself. The choices are big, but they are not the end. In fact, there will be more coming around the mountain for me. I love the verse about God holding everything together. So, lately I am focused on letting him do just that:) It feels like waiting, but it is making me better. (This comment is too long...I probably should have emailed it!)

Rachael L. Anderson said...

I liked what you said about making pro/con lists and using common sense for big decisions bc I do the same thing! It's really hard to let go of that stuff and just rely on God's words to guide you.

Hannah said...

The most settling and sobering thing about prayer is that, you're right, it's a simple thing, but there's nothing simple about what's happening when we do it. My little words to our big God. Even when everything's changing, He can change anything--and especially me.

Lifting you up to Him, friend. Thank you for sharing your heart.

Jessica Lynn Martin said...

I am very happy to have found your blog-I can't wait to follow! I am already so encouraged just by reading your posts. I love the quote you put: "If you don't know what your doing, pray to the father." So simply true. I am new to the blogging scene, you should give me a follow at http://foreverconvinced.blogspot.com/

xoxo
Jess