With the influx of what feels like nonstop holidays and the new year rapidly approaching, this is a festive and reflective period for many. This season can also be filled with loneliness, sadness, grief, and disappointment. It is usually the time of year when we take stock of our lives, achievements, losses, gains, and aspirations for the upcoming year. Depending on what measuring stick we are using to evaluate our “successes”, this process could either be celebratory or demoralizing. I have spent many Decembers that way: picking the year apart, reviewing my long list of goals/intentions, and vowing internally to do better next year. The burden of unfulfilled demands on myself and unmet expectations of others weighing so heavy on my psyche, it is a wonder that I could ever muster any Christmas spirit. What used to be my favorite time of the year as a little girl, as an adult became a bitter reminder of what my life was missing and of all the holes, which actually felt like chasms at the time, that needed to be filled. This quintessential cycle of perfectionism was self-abusive and left no room to feel joy in the life I was grinding so hard to create.
My husband and I both hail from generations of folks that stayed put, many of our lineage not veering far from their birthplaces, kinfolk, jobs, communities, or identities. Although we are not the first pioneers in our respective families to mate or relocate, we had an incomplete blueprint for how to take such giant leaps. When we first started our journey, it was earth shattering, to put it lightly, to strip ourselves of all the hard-earned tangibles that are widely associated with safety and security.
The word surrender is most often used to describe the point in which one willfully relinquishes control to the forces outside of oneself. Albeit relatively simple to say, it takes an immense amount of faith to commit to Yes. It is frightening to believe in the unseen and unforeseen especially when faced with the literal and figurative roadblocks and pitfalls ahead. It is unnerving to dismantle the facades of self-reliance and control and open oneself to receive support from another or to relish in unpredictability and spontaneity. Our first year was filled with incredible uncertainty, which was both exhilarating and tremoring often at the same time. It would have, by far, been the easiest choice at that point to repack our belongings, run back to our NY familiarity, and immerse ourselves into our old normal (which, for all intents and purposes, was good). Nevertheless, through the relentless grace, abundant mercy, and unshakeable will of God, four years later we are still standing, walking, and propelling ahead, hand in hand.
Instead, I ask for coverage as He protects, prepares, provides, and sometimes postpones on our behalf.
In the past 4 years, we have accumulated undeniable evidence of favor. Oftentimes my husband and I sit back and marvel at all the circumstances God has pulled our family through and all the angels in human form He sent to bless us. Not knowing the why, when, what or how the future will unfold can still be worrisome from time to time, our humanity triggers fear, doubt, frustration, and impatience. In response, we are cultivating a culture of awareness and deep gratitude that our son not only witnesses daily but participates in. When I am seated in prayer, I no longer ask God to reveal all of His plans. Instead, I ask for coverage as He protects, prepares, provides, and sometimes postpones on our behalf. Through practice, we are learning to listen intently for God’s whisper and intentionally ask for leadership in every aspect of our lives. We take each small step with courage, humility, and confidence that God is lighting the path and we thank Him fervently along the way. So many are preaching faith from behind the comfort of their couches, their pews, and their pocketbooks. Others are taking the risks, making the moves, releasing the grips, and forging through the fires. As we move into this new season, may we all find peace in the uncertainty. May we all approach the upcoming year with lightheartedness, ease, and reassurance that things will work out, everything will be ok in due time. May we all recognize the miracles in both the bold and the mundane.
May 2022 blow our minds, Black and Wanderlust. Happy blessed holidays.
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