The year was so bad, I didn't even ask.
I couldn't ask. I couldn't speak to Him about it, the tradition we bloggers have to choose a "word" for the year.
In the past, we'd settle on one together, happy anticipation flowing from what was to what was to come. All those other years seemed to arrive with the shining glow of promise.
But promises seemed dim and distant this new year's. Still existing, but hazy and threatening to disappear all together.
This time, the year turned over slowly, like a child heavy with sleep, sluggish to wake. I was sluggish to embrace it. And when I did finally turn to face 2015, I felt myself shrink from a hope that might disappoint.
Of course, my Father knew my wounds, my fears, my weariness. He saw my heart balled up, on it's side. He spoke anyway, on His initiative, not mine. His grip on me is always stronger than my grip on Him.
I thought, "Stupid word thing."
He said, "It's Full."
I said, "I'm not asking. And what does that even mean?"
"I'm not playing the game this year. I don't want it. That's not even a good word."
(my eyes blur just typing it out)
"Because you've known a lot of Empty lately."
And then obviously, I cried at that, saying nothing, so painfully aware of the steady emptying I'd been living for a length of time I could no longer measure.
"And this year, what I have for you is Full."
2014 meant an emptying of our lives on so many levels. From income to time to health to faith, it seemed all our resources, all familiar securities, healthy or not, dwindled consistently and seemed to have no bottom. We expected God to wait till the usual last minute to dramatically rescue with a metaphorical shout of "BUT I LOVE YOU AND WILL NEVER FORSAKE YOU!" However, we thought our last minute was last month, and the month before that, and the month before that. The fact that the emptying was so continual and so unrelenting made our heads spin.
And in many ways, we are still spinning. Still confused and feeling emptied. Still waiting for His plans to be made clear.
I still don't really want the word, because disappointment, dispersed over a long period of time, becomes a deafening command to stop wishing so hard. But I want God, more than ever. I don't pray for His presence because I know I do have that; He's closer than my breath. That's one comfort I never lost. And I want to believe. Not that He will someday trade ashes for beauty, but that He is right this moment doing exactly that. I want to believe that all along, I misjudged when the "last minute" really was.
I want to believe that January meant a flipping of the hour glass. And so the empty side just waits to become full.