It is the start of a new year and I am only just now resting to process, to look deeply at things. So often are we told to ask ourselves what we truly want and to pursue it relentlessly. Our society has much praise for the hustlers and go-getters and dream-chasers and heart-followers.
Despite being as a deeply rooted oak my entire life, gathering as much data as possible before ever pursuing anything, I ask myself that question now: what do I truly want and how do I pursue it?
But my yearning lately seems so complex, so packed, so full, so double-edged. And it has been hard for me to trust myself, to lean in to my own voice, to believe I am not that sad, evil, stupid little girl whose sinister desires will disrupt the holy will of God.
I give myself too much power and never enough love.
Sitting here, a new year feels daunting, the last few having felt so heavy at times. I am at the start of a new thing and already feel overwhelmed and suspicious and tired. There is a lot I want, even more I hope for, and yet I am already quelling the stirring of these things as I prepare myself for disappointment, for change, for grief, for fear, for strongly held opinions hurling loudly in the air while I struggle to hear my own whisper.
Resting here, now, no distractions (although that thing I meant to look up online earlier and didn’t keeps popping up in my mind to tell me it’s been neglected), I try to move past fear, into love, and pray for this new year.
A large part of me would love a prophetic vision, an audible word, as the uncertainty feels to be a large chasm; a beast with sharpened teeth, longing to swallow me whole.
A more curious (and much smaller, and perhaps malnourished) piece of me is interested in surprises, in jumping in with both feet, in watering my hopes and the possibilities and all the good things I have and watching them grow.
I recall my trip to the Grand Canyon in 2020 and how, driving through that limitless canyon country before our arrival, I looked out upon the cratered landscape and told myself that the Grand Canyon probably didn’t look much different than what I was seeing out my window, and that it couldn’t possibly be as magnificent as everyone says, and I shouldn’t get my hopes up.
This was my mantra even the next day as we arrived at the park and made it past the gate. We took a winding road, cluttered with trees, and I was telling myself that this wouldn’t be the euphoric, meeting God, bucket-list moment I’d hoped it be.
But, then, a break in the trees. The first overlook, my first ever view of the famous Grand Canyon.
It took my breath away.
I stood there, shivering more from the awe than from the wind, crying, feeling that there was not enough time in a human’s lifespan to possibly absorb it all, to take it all in, to fully process and bear witness to the beauty that was before me.
And, in that moment, God’s voice to me: “Lauren, when did you start preparing yourself to be disappointed?”
This question even louder now as I pray for 2022.
My prayer for this year is one of openness, that I remain in a posture of surrender, of play, and of flexibility, of movement.
I surrender fully to the Master Storyteller, the ultimate Creator.
This year is his.