It’s dark and rainy this morning and things are uncertain, not only with the weather but with the very foundation of our country. Last year was difficult and I find myself here in January feeling like I took the proverbial “two steps back” since 12 months ago.

It’s like I just got my 2020 report card, opened up the envelope, and found out I’ve been held back a grade because of my failure to grasp the subject material. I’m going to have to do some things all over again.

Night times are the most difficult. When I wake up at 2am with my heart racing everything seems impossible and I don’t know how I’ll ever get past it all. All my failures, all the worries about things that might happen, all the wondering about where the last 20 years have gotten to. These magnified monsters won’t leave me alone in the wee hours.

I get reminded, though, that God always makes purposeful things out of our mess. He delights in that. We just have to let it happen. Like, relax into it. Expect it but don’t ever try to figure it out or predict what it is going to look like. Throw up my arms and let the dive coaster take me where it will, knowing that I will ultimately be OK.

I sure could not have predicted last year. So what makes me think I can predict this year? I always forget.

There’s a purpose for my do-over, my apparent failures… my life is beautiful even though I make it hard sometimes. God is right there beside me, walking with me in the valleys of my own creation and the thickets of the devil. Is that a smile I see on his face?

I’ve learned over the years to relax into pain, to let go in the face of whatever life throws at me. Except, I never really learned how to do that when I was the one making a mistake. I still tense up, swear I’ll never accept it, and brace myself against my own imperfections and the ways I disappoint myself.

That will never play out well. I think the lesson set before me on the table of 2021 is to lean into my failure, to stop resisting it, stop running from it. It happened. I failed. Again. But God is not dismayed. He might even be chuckling, if I see him correctly as we walk this journey.


  1. I can assure you He laughs at me everyday and twice on Sundays. I forget that we are children to Him and I think of the things my kids do that make me laugh. Whether they sneak a snack and think I don’t see or whether they try to complete a task that seems hard to them but I know they can do it. So I say all that to say whatever tasks we have before us (easy or hard) he knows we can do it.

    1. That’s what I was thinking, Kaffie, about the way we parents chuckle at our kids…. thanks! You get me!

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