I raise my head above the foam and saltwater, gasping for air. Waiting to see if the waves have calmed. I breathe, sucking air into my aching lungs, longing for respite and a deep breath. Waiting for the warmth of the sun to shine on my face. Unsure. Looking to see if anyone notices.
It has been a long season. Years long. I paused social media in May for what I thought would be a week but turned into months—freeing and healing months. I missed sharing graduations and birthdays, college move-ins and new jobs, funny animals and proud momma moments. Still, I found that my healing was more important than sharing those events publicly. Those closest to me knew anyway.
I am still healing. Life is hard when it comes in waves. The kind that pummel you every time you try to get up to see the horizon. The kind that sneak up when you aren’t looking. But at some point, we choose to move forward. To find our footing and see beauty in front of us. It may not get easier, but it brings hope if we can find beauty in the moments while we continue to heal. Sometimes we even find beauty in the waves.
This year brings change. Changing family life, changing jobs. New podcasts and workflows, a new semester of theology classes. I am not one to have a “word of the year,” but I was moved to look at some Hebrew words (regretting I didn’t take advantage of Hebrew classes at Wheaton decades ago) and I found healing and hope.
Chadash: to renew or repair. A year to take hold of the new that grows from the ashes, from the rubble, from the washing away of things hoped for to new things. To repair pieces lost in the erosion and find ones I missed. To recalibrate what I thought would be into the place that God sees for me.
Chazaq: to be or grow firm or strong, strengthen. It speaks of divine strength and courage. I need strength and faith this year. Diving into the deep end. Into the heavy surf at times.
So, with a spirit of chadash and chazaq, I move bravely into the year. Only a turn of a calendar page but a moment to find my footing and step into all that can be. Despite the waves, bc, as with tides, they continue to come. But waves are also beautiful and carry life to the shore. Happy 2023