Guest Post: A New Year Reflection
Once again I’m so grateful to have as a guest post from Kristin B. Meyer, LMSW, Assistant Director of Adoption Services from Bethany Christian Services. If you’d like to know more about Bethany’s support services for couples facing infertility, pregnancy loss or adoption check the website of of Bethany Christian Services at www.Bethany.org/infertility.
A New Year Reflection
This will be the best year yet.
This is your year to sparkle.
Out with the old, in with the new.
This is the year to be who you know you are!
These phrases—printed in bold and beautiful fonts with inspirational photos—are just some of what turned up in my Pinterest search for “New Year’s blessings.” We are surrounded by messages of hope and promise like these as we approach a new year. We are told that each year is a clean slate or a new book just waiting to be written. In fact, one of the other catchy quotes I saw on Pinterest was this: “Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one” (Brad Paisley).
I admit, I’m a bit of an optimist, and I treasure a book that, over the years, I have filled with inspirational quotes and sayings—some not so different from those above. But sometimes the optimism and lofty aspirations of the New Year are not enough to overcome the disappointments of the year before.
So I wonder: Where you are right now as you look ahead to the New Year? Do you also look back on a year of disappointments and losses, multiple miscarriages, or multiple negative pregnancy tests?
During a time when I was feeling the most hopeless about what lay ahead in our journey with infertility, I came across the following quote in Praying the Names of God by Ann Spangler:“Disappointment is nothing but a premature conclusion, causing you to stop reading before the story’s end,
making you abandon your hope and enfeebling your ability to pray.”
Does your previous year make you want to “stop reading” rather than “write a good one”?
Does abandoning hope sound safer than actually daring to hope again in 2016? After all of the disappointments you have endured, how could you not abandon hope?
Hear these words from Lamentations 3:13, 19-23 NLT:
“He shot His arrows deep into my heart. The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words. I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.”
The author of Lamentations gets it—he knows about hurt, loss, and suffering. In fact, the first several verses might just sum up the experience of infertility and pregnancy loss for me better than any other verse in the Bible. Yet this writer still dares to hope! He hopes because he remembers and believes that his story isn’t over.
Thankfully, it isn’t our job to “write a good one” with our life. God is the one who is still faithfully writing, even regularly adding new mercies in our stories that we can find when we look for them.
So this year, will you resolve simply to keep reading this particular part of your story…and will you dare to hope in the faithful God who knows your story’s ending?