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The New Horizon

Part of me wants to discard 2011 like a dirty, ol’ rag. It was a let’s-get-down-and-get-dirty kind of year for us. The kind of year where you evaluate every aspect of your life and make some difficult decisions to, hopefully, make things better. The kind of year where your heart gets tangled in a million different emotions and leaves life feeling like one, big, tangled web that somehow swirled and weaved your last bit of girlhood naiveté into a mortal cocoon. The kind of year where friends’ homes and neighborhoods are ripped to shreds by tornadoes and you read stories about riots all over the world, and those earthquakes and tsunamis that hit  so hard and you’re left trying to explain crazy things like that to your wide-eyed, inquisitive four-year-old daughter. The kind of year where your heart brims in fullness, readying to welcome your third child, only for that baby to be taken away from you. The kind of year where your life’s lens zooms in and out as you lie on a stretcher wondering if you’re going to be able to hug your living babies in the morning as that pregnancy loss gushes from your body.


It has been a hard year.


And yet.


Ironically, it has been one of the best.


It’s been the year that my husband and I learned to (mostly) stop dancing that passive-aggressive tango we’ve done all these married years and begun to truly learn one another’s steps. It’s been the year where we’ve truly listened to one another’s dreams and desires and haven’t been afraid to share them. The year that we weren’t afraid to let go of certain things in our lives that we’d held onto for so. long. simply because they felt comfortable and safe. The year that my humanity was made crystal clear. The year where the outpouring of love and support from friends was humbly overwhelming and wonderfully healing.

It is truly stupefying how God places things in your hands which sometimes feel like squirming snakes or abrasive stones, but in opening your hands, you quickly realize that they are, in reality, loaves of bread and nourishing fish.


So I know that when I trust the Good Father, I can trust that a year like 2011 is a gift. Whether our 2011’s were good or bad, or just plain boring, it is a full, written chapter in each of our life’s stories and not something to wipe clean off the slate, or something to desperately try to erase from our memories. Let’s find the gifts. Let’s find all the fish and the bread of 2011 and learn to be thankful for them in our new 2012. And even better, maybe we can learn from all those seemingly snarly snakes and rough stones and help others with their own confusingly full hands.


Today, as my eyes linger over the ornaments and stockings and twinkling lights, just for one more day,  my heart lingers over days and moments that made up my own 2011. And I am finding that those gifts walk with me into the fresh horizon of 2012.


Let’s have a happy, bright and hopeful New Year, everyone.

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. ~Plato

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

10 responses »

  1. I could have written every word of that (except not so well and not the part about the loss of a child…. I am so sorry, sweet blogging friend). I look forward to His plans for 2012 in both our lives. You are loved.

  2. You too, Alisa! May your 2012 be full of blessing and love raining down….

  3. Such wise, heartfelt, and maturing words. Thanks, Audra. You express so well what many can only think. I really like this part: “I can trust that a year like 2011 is a gift.” As we are tested in the trials of life, we also begin to see God’s work in and through us, even when it painful.

    God’s richest blessings in Christ for this coming year.


  4. Rich, thank you. There is truly beauty in the struggling. And may your New Year be blessed in all that is truly important.

  5. Your beautifully written post is a magnificent way to start my new year. Thank you for your vulnerability and transparency. You (and your writing) are a gift, my friend.

  6. As are you, Molly! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.

  7. Good view, friend. May 2012 bring gentle lessons and great blessings.

  8. Thanks, Olivia! 🙂 I like that . . . *gentle* lessons. 🙂

  9. “It is truly stupefying how God places things in your hands which sometimes feel like squirming snakes or abrasive stones, but in opening your hands, you quickly realize that they are, in reality, loaves of bread and nourishing fish.”

    Wow. I’m thinking of writing that one on an index card for my desk wall. He knows how to give good gifts, even when we don’t recognize it. I don’t think my faith has quite caught up there yet. Bless you Audra, for these powerful words. I hope many, many stop by to read of your faith here.

  10. Ashley, you brought tears to my eyes (in a good way!). Thanks. You are the soul of encouragement!

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