Sometimes at the very end of the year, I have a hard time coping with the last and am nervous of the future. All the hopes for what I want in the 365 days ahead remind me of the lack of control I have had over much of my life. Do I then decide to take control? Knowing this is a repeat of what brings me to the current place over and over. Or rather relinquish my future to the one who is already there? The latter is the correct answer. However, at the current moment, I am struggling as I hold to the former.
By April Ragsdale
These words so accurately describe exactly how I feel – really quite often, not just at the turn of another year. At the end of the year when reflecting I so often focus on what I have not accomplished or what has not happened. It is sometimes a harsh comparison of what I hoped for the new year compared to all that really happened. For most of us life is like that. It falls way short of our hopes and dreams. The expectations that we place on ourselves as wives and mothers we would never put on someone else. Why do we do that? Why do we torture ourselves with comparisons and measurements that unsettle and disappoint?
And then the fear. I confess that sometimes I do fear what the year could hold. I fear what could happen to my loved ones in the year ahead. I have been burned by the reality and brevity of life. I have felt the sting of death. I know how fragile life can be and how little control I have over it. I know how little control I have over everything. I also know that taking the control back from the One who makes the sun rise and set is not the answer, even though I give it and take it back over and over again.
Life, being a wife, being a mother, being a daughter, being a sister – it is all really about relinquishing control. As women, we think we have secret control over the lives of everyone we love and it’s easy sometimes. When our children are little we control their whole worlds. Then they get a driver’s license and a car and all of a sudden we have little control over where they are or what they are doing. We simply have to trust until given a reason not to. Our parents, spouse, siblings are strong and always there for us until one day they aren’t. That leaves us reeling and groping for stability. Groping for how it is supposed to be – everyone we love is supposed to be ok all the time. And when they aren’t – we see the vulnerability of life and we can choose to live in fear or trust the one who loves us more than we could ever comprehend.
Whatever we have or haven’t accomplished, whatever has or hasn’t happened, time marches on, beyond our control. But the one who created time is in control. He is in the future. The realization of the uncertainty of life is what causes me to fear and take control back. The knowledge that He loves me and loves everyone I love even more than I could, and that He wants all good things for us, and that He makes beauty from ashes if they come, settles me.
By Lara Cook