This is a bit of River Road in Topsfield, Massachusetts near my hometown. I took the picture last January when I was home for the holidays. Growing up, I loved River Road because the grassy pastures folded and rolled the way I imagined the moors in the English countryside did. Sometimes, I still get homesick for the River Road hills.
I have spent some of this morning thinking back on the space between the time I took this picture a year ago, and the time now and my eyes well up. My 24th year was hard. I have no eloquent way to describe it because it felt so raw most of the time. And we all know that raw can be refining at best, gut-wrenching at worst, and the in-between was stark and lonely. In spite of the way I walked into each day frightened to take another step, God led me and the way was opened. In spite of feeling quite vulnerable, I woke up with the conviction that I am dearly loved–beloved in fact, and perfect for the One who matters. And in the midst of happy and sad tears, I found myself believing more than I ever have in my whole life that He who has promised is faithful. Thanks be.
So, I have no idea what 2010 holds. I have my wishes of course and I sure hope it’s better than last year, but I don’t really know. I figure the odds are in my favor. Regardless, I am intent on being at peace. In fact we are called to be this way because in and throughout Grace abounds! And that Grace in His Glory covers over the earth, like water over the seas. Or perhaps, as Grace was once described to me, as snow covers the hills. As lovely and green as those River Road hills are nothing compares to their snow-covered perfection. The snow falls, and it blankets. The messy, muddy, dried up brown stuff underneath? It’s no matter. The snow is pristine so the hills are too. Can we take on perfection like the hills do?
Whatever this year brings you, and before we run full force into it with our resolutions and the like, may we be still for a moment in the perfect warmth of our Grace blankets. And may we thank the One who wraps us up so tight.
With that, Happy New Year!