This past year was a year of hard things. We all know, of course, that hard things are never expected. I, for one, expect a life of beauty, and meaning, and kitchen dishes put away and all the laundry caught up.
Hard things sometimes catch up with us later, after weeks and months of struggle, until it’s October and you have a few days to catch your breath and you realize, “damn, that was a hard year.”
This past year my husband took on new responsibilities at work. While it was a really great opportunity for him, we didn’t realize the impact it would have on our family and marriage until 6 months or so into it. That’s a long time to be living life, waiting, wondering if this thing is going to work out, or if it’s going to break you. I’m thankful we are on the other side, much wiser hopefully, but not withstanding, a little world weary and yes, dare I say it, cynical.
This year was also a death, of sorts, of a friendship I held dear. By dear I mean I trusted in it, believed in it, thought the best of it. It’s hard when that friend who you trusted so hard in, believed so hard in, wanted the best for, doesn’t want the same. It’s confusing, and sad and it makes me world weary and cynical. It’s brought up so much in me about understanding, grace and forgiveness. How do I forgive someone who doesn’t think she did anything wrong? Or who seemingly doesn’t care? Why would I forgive someone who doesn’t even think she needs to be forgiven? Shauna Niequest says we forgive because:
“..i want to sleep instead of having endless imaginary conversations. Because I want my mind back. Because I want my life back. Because she’s not the only one on the hook. Because every time I hang her up on that hook, the hook reaches down and grabs me, too.”
Forgiveness looks like (Shauna again) “moving a piano all the way across the living room, even though I just did it the day before.”
As much as I’d like to let hard things make me world weary and cynical, there is another, harder choice. It’s the choice to keep believing the best, despite my pain and hurt. It’s sometimes letting people be who they want to be. It’s walking out of a hard year and looking in all the cracks where the sunshine shines: forgiveness and mercy and grace and love all in one. And sometimes, that is harder than the hardest things.
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.