Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Repairers of the Breach

We are 11 days into 2017 and I'm just now settling on my claim for the New Year. To be honest, I've spent the past week and a half just trying to catch up after the holidays. 2016 was such a looooong, disturbing year and I've needed a few extra days to "get over it."

So, here we are. 2017! I'm happy to have the past year behind me. It was so full of loss and heartbreak that  touched EVERYONE! Bowie seemed to be the catalyst, dying on this day one year ago and setting off 2016's year-long celebrity massacre.

I experienced loss in my personal life as well. My dearest aunt died quite suddenly and unexpectedly, leaving me and my family in shock. It was a tough blow to lose the woman who had been more than an aunt to me when I was a child. She had been a wish-giver, a secret play-mate and a source of love and laughter that I needed in those days.

On the day of my aunt's funeral I also said goodbye to my dear neighbor to whom I had grown very close, and who had become a motherly figure and mentor for me. Unable to live alone anymore. she moved hundreds of miles away to live with her daughter.

Just before Christmas I lost my former Sunday School teacher, fiercest prayer warrior and sweet confidant. She was a great lady who prayed me through my teenage years and taught me by example about how to live a godly life.

Now, as I'm a week and a half outside of that painful year, I have decided that 2017 is going to be the year of Redemption and Restoration. It's not really as serious and solemn as it sounds. If last year was a year of loss, this is the year that I will reclaim and restore what I can. Many things have already been set into motion and I eagerly await the chance to share them.
Return to Oz?

I will begin with myself. I want to restore my body and reclaim my long-dormant creativity. I want to exercise my body and mind. I miss the person I once was, full of energy and imagination. I will find her and reclaim her. I watched a video this morning about a man who had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. In the midst of his pain and suffering, he began working on an old church, repainting and restoring it. Over the three years he worked on it, his body healed. His cancer went into remission. The restoration of the church brought restoration to his body and soul.

I'm tired of sitting around wishing I could do this or that. I want to reclaim my life and live it to the fullest. I have let my personal identity and dreams once again get buried beneath the day-to-day stuff. Responsibilities are important, but I have sacrificed a lot of who I am to things that won't really matter tomorrow. Sometimes I even use those responsibilities as an excuse and a place to hide, telling myself, "I can't write right now, I have to fold the towels."

No one will remember me for how neatly my towels were folded. If I want to make a difference in the world (and I certainly do) I need to stop hiding behind my "real job" and get out there and do things that matter. Not just for myself, but for society. I want to use my Art and creativity in ways that make things better. The world is hurting, and if I can create one moment of beauty out there somewhere, I will count myself a success.

So here's to 2017. Here's to hoping for a restoration of things lost, a healing of wounds and a reclaiming of peace. We've got a lot of work to do.
Isaiah 58:12