I’d like to pretend that I’m doing this because I was sitting here with a glass of wine, in front of a glowing fire, pondering the year as it comes to a close, thoughtfully perusing a bank of warm memories with a smile on my lips and a heavy sigh of satisfaction for a year well-lived.
It’s been a tough one for me.
It wasn’t a complete loss, but it was a doozie of a year. It’s like, Yes, It does bite ass when someone steals your car and then tries to extort you for it’s return, but then, by some crazyness, you get it back, and through the whole ugly mess (which you should have blogged but didn’t because you’re not allowed to use the “F” word on your blog and you couldn’t even touch that story without it) you learned that your values have changed immensely and that you’re not just learning about what’s important, but you’re actually living it without really having to try that hard any more and that’s kinda cool. So it was hard, but also good.
Or, it’s like this. On my top ten list of shitty things that happened this year, is the time I took the bus home from work after cleaning rooms and making beds up for an incoming group, and I looked really nasty (a big no-no for girls riding the bus in Costa Rica) and some diptard teenagers started loudly joking around that I was gross (which, admittedly, was true) and that I was probably a transvestite prostitute (let’s just say that a sports-bra is not exactly a flattering look for me). So, I got off the bus and cried the whole walk home. Which, naturally, made me even uglier. But, while it sucked to be called out on my physical short-comings…loudly….on crowded public transit….that wasn’t really why I was crying. I was really crying because that morning El Chupacabra and I had had one of those whacked-out screaming matches that I’m pretty sure other missionaries don’t have (or don’t admit to having) so I was already feeling kind of disliked before I got on the bus, and then those guys just kinda pushed me over the edge. But the thing with my husband, and then on the bus, and the crying thing afterward, helped me remember who’s love I really need, who’s attention I should be seeking, who is jealous for me, who values me because he knows me intimately and perfectly and he has chosen to love me anyway. So again, really freakin lame, but good in the end.
This year has been so incredibly full of moments like those. Lot’s of drama. Lot’s of learning. And, to be honest, I’m just really tired of it all. Worn down, I guess, is a better choice of words. I’d like the drama to stop, and I’d like to apply some of the learning. I’m just too beat to do both at once, and I don’t even have it bad. I mean, there was this, and then of course there was this this. And who could forget this? But, I’m grateful that that’s as bad as it’s been. Okay – There have been worse things….like a couple of things, either too painful or too private to write about here…but overall, I feel like I can chalk up the last 12 months as a big fat success. A bitter, anxiety filled, financially devastating, ridiculously ill-fated success.
So basically what I’m getting at is that I really sucked at life this year. And then God redeemed it.
I’ve always thought of God as, like, a super hero, to swoop in and save the day when we are on the brink of absolute ruin. And I’ve always heard Christians say things like “I hit rock-bottom and then God came to my rescue.” But, I’ve never really given much thought to the fact that He’s also there, cleaning up our messes (our our messiness) when stuff is just sorta crappy. That is, until I had a sorta generally crappy year. This year. Crappy 2009, I like to call it. I’ve realized that, at least right now, I don’t need a God that can “save” cause I don’t really need to be “rescued”, and I don’t need to be “found” either, cause I haven’t been “lost” in years. Mostly, I just need to not suck so much.
If you’re ever in the mood to see the pure face of humanity, I highly suggest that you go hang out in a Casino. This is the place where excess looks desperation square in the face and smiles, where gluttony mingles with starvation, where gratification hitches arms with depression. And this is not a cancer ward. This is no concentration camp. What you will see, after your senses adjust to the sour boozy smell and these stupid bells and lights, and then through the swirling haze of Marlboro and Camel and American Spirit, you will see a bunch of people that just generally…suck. They need Him, too, the God that redeems those who just kinda suck. Have you met this God? I have. In fact, I think I can say I’ve gotten to know him pretty well in 2009.
So anyway, this was a really long, and dumb way to say Happy New Year. Welcome to the world Twenty-Ten. I’m excited to see what aspect of God you’ll be introducing to me this year. Ooh, ooh, but if my opinion counts at all, I think I’d like to get to know God as, like, a “generous provider”….Whaddaya think 2010? Can you hook a missionary up??