As the door closed and softly clinked shut, I sat in my chair and watched him climb into his truck. We had spent the last hour in my living room. Me in my chair. Him on the couch. Me without a shower in three days, hair a mess, and tears running down my face. Him with his crooked grin and more self-assurance than anyone should have at his age.
“It must be nice to be that dumb”, I thought as I watched him drive away. Yet, for some reason I could not get his words out of my head. They crashed into each other over and over racing around in my mind. Was he right? Did I have a choice? And, if I did have a choice…what was it?
I had spent the past five days sitting alone in my home. I had cried and raged. I had read my bible and shouted at God for what He had done. I was angry and sad. I wanted my happiness back. I wanted my husband back. I wanted my life back. I sat there in that chair and I prayed like never before. I pleaded with God to make me whole again. I needed to know that I was going to survive, but I didn’t want to survive. I wanted to curl up and die. That’s what I wanted. The desire to live had left me on that September day and I could care less about living….for me or my girls. I just did not care anymore.
But, God has a funny way of changing our minds sometimes. He had lead me to the book of Jeremiah so many times lately that I was becoming obsessed with his story. Two days before he had lead me to Jeremiah 33:10-11. This is what it says: “This is what the Lord says: ‘You say about this place, “It is a desolate waste, without men or animals. Yet in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem that are deserted, inhabited by neither men nor animals, there will be heard once more the sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom, and the voices of those who bring thank offerings to the house of the Lord, saying, “Give thanks to the Lord Almighty for the Lord is good; his love endures forever.” For I will restore the fortunes of the land as they were before,’ says the Lord.
As I sat there and watched Greg’s friend leave my driveway, I realized that something needed to change. He had just told me some pretty hard things that honestly I needed to hear. I can say that now; a whole year later. Our conversation that day changed everything for me. I sat there and cried as he told me that Greg would not want me to live like this. We both knew he would have been disappointed to see me sitting there trying to let the grief kill me. Those words cut me to the bone, but I needed to hear them.
I sat there in my chair and looked around. All of my Christmas decorations were still out. My books and papers were scattered on the table beside me. I was wrapped up in Greg’s blanket and I needed a shower. How had I let myself get this low? I remember thinking that I had no idea where to start living. He had just told me that I needed to figure it out…and I guess he was right.
It was New Year’s Eve and I had no plans. My kids were at the farm and I was alone. I wonder what other 37-year-old single women do on New Year’s Eve? I had spent the last 17 New Year’s Eves with Greg. What was I supposed to do without him this time?
Then, I remembered. My favorite local band was playing downtown that night. I wondered if any of my friends were going so I made a few calls and sent some texts. They all had plans. Of course they did…I mean who waits until 4:30 on New Year’s Eve before making plans? Obviously just me.
What was I gonna do? I could sit here in this chair by myself all night and pretend that I was gonna start living again tomorrow…or I could get up, take a shower and go downtown by myself.
So, that’ s just what I did.
My nerves almost got the best of me. I almost chickened out. I almost gave in to the fear of going out alone…but I did it anyway. And, guess what? I had a wonderful time! When the Frog dropped at midnight (it’s a small town thing)…I stood on the street surrounded by people and as the fireworks scattered across the sky I was hugged and kissed by several sweet friends who joined me with tears in their eyes. This was a new year. A new beginning. Time to start over…and I wasn’t alone.
Sitting here today one full year later I am in awe of the things that God has done. He has brought me through some pretty rough waters over the past 365 days. He has also blessed me beyond measure. I can’t believe the house is finished. I can’t believe a book I wrote has been published and read by so many people. I can’t believe all of the places me and the girls have traveled. I can’t believe that I am not spending this New Year’s Eve alone. Those dreams that I had this time last year have all been accomplished. God is such a good, good father! I could never had done the things listed here on my own. I had to turn it all over to Him and agree to be His vessel. I am just amazed.
Looking forward to 2017 I am filled with hope. I have hope for a future. I have hope for happiness. I have hope for more dreams to come true. It is my deepest desire to share that hope with others as well. What He did for me He can and will do for you if you let him. Take a big step out of your comfort zone and hold on for the ride!
Here’s to new beginnings…starting over….and learning to live again! May the love and grace of our Father be with you all tonight and throughout the upcoming year. 2017 is the year that we all step back and let Him slay those dragons that are holding us back!
HAPPY NEW YEAR Y’ALL!!!