New Year {Undignified}

(via Pinterest)
It always astounds me how although the world changes very little throughout a year, I find that everything seems so different, because it is I who have changed. Things don’t mean what they once meant to me. Stars, last year, just meant beauty and confusing orbits to me … this year I look at stars and I see all that is hope and constancy. On the coldest, darkest, stillest night, when all seems lost, that is when we see stars most clearly. I love how our God worked that out. Many other things have been transformed in my eyes this year - rest, Christmas, making things with my own hands, advent, lent, books, hot tea, water, church, friendship, and so much more … I’m not who I was.
I just picked up an old journal, curious about what my thought life was at this time last year. I could not believe what I found. Was that only last year? I wrote a total of 3 entries in 2012 … each one more depressed than the last. I was afraid to write; afraid of what feelings might arise in me if I dared to be honest, and afraid of what new wounds I might create by faking contentment through my pretty blue pen. So I kept quiet. The silence that I spoke of in yesterday's post.
And then my January dawned. Because of the dare of a friend, I have been writing in my journal daily since January 13th, 2013. That wasn’t her dare, exactly, though. She knew I was breaking in pieces, and that as the writer I am, I needed to put the pain I cradled onto paper. She suggested I write out my fears … this friend tends to know where the roots of my problems are. So I started writing, in a very sarcastic tone, saying she was “the only reason I {was there}, ok?” and then writing “I AM AFRAID …” above a surprisingly long list. I remember crying a lot. I have a nasty habit of living in fear.
Another part of her advice was another journal … a prayer journal. Not the kind that you list requests and praises in. There’s a time and a place (and other journals) for that. This was for the David-style prayers. The groans of a desperate, aching heart. For tear-stained pages; tears of sorrow, joy, conviction, anger … so long as this was a place that I was real. And then she suggested Psalms. Her advice was dead on, of course. She’s like that. When a person pours out their fears and hopes and guts onto paper with no filter, then takes them to the Throne Room, and then waits, in the midst of the prayers and praises of another soul, for a response from their Maker … something happens. Always.
Today, I wrote little in my journal. It was sounding too much like a blog post, and so I came here. This is yet another journal for me. One where I not only spill my heart on the floor, the paper, and the altar … but I spill it onto a display for all to see, hoping that someone, somewhere, will feel something when they see it, and that this soul-changing experience might spread. There’s always the risk of poor reception, no reception, or something else I’m afraid of … we’ve established already that the list is long. The things God calls us to sometimes look foolish to others. Remember David dancing wild in the streets … in his unmentionables? (2 Samuel 6) Do I dare cry out alongside him, “I will become even more undignified than this”? More undignified, wild, foolish-looking, real, open, than even this?
I decided that I wanted to join those who name their years before they start … a resolution of sorts. To put all your hopes, dreams, and goals for the new year into one word, and then you name it that. It seemed like the reckless kind of thing that I’d like. A whole year to reflect on and ponder just one word. The pressure was on to choose a great one. I wanted something long, extravagant, and beautiful … something that made me go “ohhhh,” just  thinking about it. But He had other plans. Just “bird.” I thought it was silly. I thought I’d spent too much time on this blog and it was warping my perspective. So I sought Him … I did the classic “flip and point” with the Bible, only with my app, to make it harder to know where I’d end up. I opened my eyes, and found my finger resting on that ridiculous word again: bird. I admit … it’s growing on me.
This is my Year of the Bird, then … or Bird Year? Maybe it’s time for me to get a little more undignified. Let people think that I have this strange obsession with my feathered friends. Let them think that I love wildly; that I accept too many people. Let them say that Lydia is a Jesus Freak. Let them shout that I laugh far too loud, and my hugs are too tight. They may call me emotional, flighty, sensitive, too friendly …. If I do this all for Him, then it is all more than worth it. I will become even more undignified than this. This baby bird will jump from the nest until she finally flies. Though people may see me fall, I will fix my eyes on He Who believes I can soar.

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