2011 was obviously a low point in my life. The loss of my aunt and cousin was unimaginable, and was compounded by my once seemingly invincible family’s increasing brushes with reality. My grandparents are on the border of no longer being able to live on their own, my parents’ marriage seems to be crumbling and with it my own relationship with my mother, my aunt has ALS. 2012 does not promise to be any better. My aunt entered hospice last month, my parents have some tough decisions to make, and my grandparents are not getting any younger. Still, in the midst of this, I cling to the hope that Jesus provides. That this life is not all there is, that the brokenness of this world is not how it was intended to be, that while I may face struggles here, there is hope of the world to come.
I am heading out to celebrate the New Year this evening, and as I was dressing I was about to put on the silver bangles I bought earlier this year. Instead, I placed on my wrist two red bracelets, one faux-leather with a single bead, made en masse by my family as a remembrance of my aunt and cousin, one rubber labelled with the words “Accelerating the Cure for ALS.” As I bid adieu to a year in which I lost two family members and welcome a year in which I will very likely lose one more, it seemed like the most fitting accompaniment to my outfit for the evening.
In short, I wish good riddance to 2011, I hesitate to welcome 2012, and I yearn for the life of the world to come.
January – Work out 4x a week
February – Read the Bible every day
March – Meal Plan each week
April – Work out 5x a week
May – Finish the spring cleaning checklist
June – Plan at least 3 visits to cultural attractions
July – Eat breakfast outside whenever possible
August – Enjoy the family time
September – Keep the kitchen sink clean
October – Read at least two books for fun
November – Buy and wrap all holiday gifts
December – Schedule time for myself
Do you know how much you need Jesus? I didn’t until the last few days, until the hole in my heart was so clearly Jesus sized that there was no other solution than to sit down with Scripture, or at the very least with books that point me to Scripture. My need, my desire for Christ has been insatiable, which is, I suppose, a healthy place for it to be.
The most frustrating thing, particularly in this busy season of life is how difficult it is to find the time to fill that need. I need Jesus, but I seem to have no time. It’s easy to fill the need when I have endless hours stretching in front of me before I need to be somewhere, but when I need to be out the door at 7:30, it seems to be a lost cause. I will never be a morning person. Sometimes I squeeze in 15 minutes at school, most often over my lunch break, but that is hardly a place where my soul feels free to worship, feels free to seek Christ. I need my sustenance before that.
I was struck anew today while I was reading about how God instructs the Israelites to collect the manna each day, not to collect more than they needed for each day because otherwise it would rot. I thought then of Jesus’ words as he instructs his disciples that man does not live on bread alone, but on the Word. I need to feast on the Word daily. I can’t overeat on Sunday in preparation for a week that is too busy. I need the Word each day, or I will starve. I need Jesus.
Are you aware of your need?