It’s been a really long time since we’ve spoken. The old me would have apologized for this absence but the new me knows how utterly necessary this break has been. The funny thing about being a writer is that I’ve got so many words, ideas and stories swirling around in my head, I struggle most with untangling that web and stringing together the pieces than I do finding the words to say. So I guess I’ve been sitting around waiting for the right time or right way to say this. But the truth is…2017 was the year that broke me.
This year has been physically, emotionally and spiritually messy. Like crayon-on-the-walls, muddy-footprints-on-the-carpet, fingerprints-on-the-glass kinda messy. And I hate mess.
I like order, structure and certainty. I like plans and answers and knowing what’s for dinner.
But 2017 was a year that taught me that uncertainty is a part of life.
There has been sickness in my family.
The separation of loved ones.
The ending of friendships.
The breaking of hearts.
And it was hard. And for the first time in my life I felt defeated. I felt simultaneously drained dry and helpless like I was drowning in this sea of uncertainty.
I felt all alone in this swirling chaos. Afraid of failure. Afraid of rejection. Afraid of what it meant to say goodbye to the old Megan and accept this new, unfamiliar version.
And because it is Christmas and this is the season of hope, promise and redemption…my story doesn’t end there. Because yes there are crayon marks on the walls and footprints on the carpet, but God has taught me that mess can be good. It can be necessary to break us out of our prisons of comfort, self satisfaction and pride.
So 2017 was the year that broke me but it was also the year that saved me.
In the coming undone I’ve been remade better than before.
I used to place my hope, my worth and my future on the people and circumstances in my life. My parents were my foundation. My friends were my safety net. My blog was a marker of my success. My love life was my definition of desirability.
I built my life upon these things, believing that they would never leave, or fall apart or hurt me.
But when all of those things are stripped away you realize that nothing in this world can satisfy you. There is no safe place or firm foundation, this man-made cement crumbles as quick as a snap of your fingers.
And I realized something. When something breaks, it lets the light in. And any plant knows, where light flows, life flourishes.
So here I stand before you, all sparkly and new. A living testimony to the grace and goodness of God. Completely undone but no longer afraid. As full of life and hope and glitter as a person can be.
I’ll never stop laughing at the way God works. At the way his kingdom unfolds in such an upside down manner. That the last are first. That the pain brings healing. That our life is found when we lay it down.
But you know what, I don’t think I’d have it any other way. I love this disorderly, unpredictable route to finding God. To finding home.
I love that God is in the flickering glow of the fairy lights on my wall. I love that he is the scent of pine from my very much alive Christmas tree. I love that he is the cinnamon sticks in my mulled wine and the cherries in my trifle.
God is in all the good, lovely and beautiful things. He is our hope in this season.
And I’m here to tell you, if 2017 was the year that broke you…let it be the year that saves you too.
Because this life is hard. It is messy. It is ugly and sad and uncertain.
But it is also beautiful. There is so much to celebrate and be thankful for. In the midst of the mess, we have the promise of redemption. We might not have all the answers but we have one the one that matters… Jesus.
Let Him take your broken and make it beautiful.
Let His love be your firm foundation.
Let His abundant grace be the song on your heart.