Saturday, January 1, 2011

My New Year's Non-Resolution

At a family gathering last night, someone asked of the rest of us what our hopes/ goals/ resolutions for the new year were. Before I could start to formulate and articulate mine, someone said something that I've come to see as quite wise.

There are so many things I could say are my goals, goals that I will actually achieve. I'd love to lose some weight, that old generic goal. Chances are, though, this isn't likely to be a huge priority as I look at my life with two little boys, a husband, a needy dog, and a new job. It'd be nice, but, just being honest with myself, it seems unlikely to be an actual priority.

I'd like to be more deliberate about finding time to do scrapbooking and other creative endeavors. This, too, seems like something I'm just going to have to fit in when possible. And, really, it doesn't seem all that important when I think about what this person said.

What she said, and I paraphrase, is that she doesn't make new years resolutions (and I don't really do that so much either; I more set some generic goals that, frankly, I've often forgotten by about mid-February). What she does do, however, is ask to be open to whatever the New Year may bring. As I've sat with that, it seems so very wise. There is so much in life over which we have little to no control. So much in life that all we can do is ask to be given the tools, the grace, to accept it, deal with it, integrate the lessons offered, and move on.

As I look back over our last year, I am struck at how different things are for us, for me now, than they were just 365 days ago. Last year, just before Christmas, a family member had a sweet baby girl, and though I am ashamed to admit it, it was a low point in my life. At the same time they announced their pregnancy, we announced our intention to adopt again. The possibility that their child would come before ours never entered my mind. So, when their daughter was born, the bottom fell out for me. I sat and sobbed after he called me from the delivery room. He was so happy. I wanted to be happy for them. I couldn't. It was really the first time someone else's baby had been upsetting for me. I felt sad, guilty, ashamed, angry, and a whole host of other emotions.

So why, you ask, am I now blogging about this? Well, it's because I really am struck by how simply being more trusting of "the plan", not MY plan, would have made this easier for me, and so many others around me. And I am now aware of how this openness to grace could have saved us all from unnecessary pain. 2010 started with my feeling angry, and so very sad. I felt our family was incomplete, and because of all of those feelings, I think I kind of withdrew because I was so wrapped up in my own pain. How much I missed out on!

Thus, this year's New Year's non-resolution, if you will, is to be open. Open to what is to come, and open to the strength, willingness, grace, and love to accept what may come and to be able to know how to best deal with it. Obviously, this is easier than it would have been last year because I am in a much happier place. I know, however, that this year, too, will come with its trials and tribulations. I just hope to meet them with grace instead of sobbing this time.

Today's lesson - my momma really is a wise woman. But, then again, if you know her, this probably isn't a new lesson for you.


Eileen Stansbury said...

I applaude your candor Becky, and know this-someday down the road, you will be a wise woman as well, because you are learning from living. Your mom and I have lived longer than you, therefore our wisdom comes easily. Thank God it's useful! Happy New Year!
Love, Eileen Stansbury

Wani said...

While I have not been through the infertility struggles that you have had to deal with I do understand the overwhelming emotions that you described when the family member's baby arrived. I have a son with special needs. I can hardly count the number of times that I have cried at seeing or hearing of a friend or family members son or daughter reaching a new milestone. A milestone that my son may or may not ever reach. It is still a struggle for me. And now my daughter is having developmental delays as well and I am overwhelmed with all these fearful feelings of the unknown and I hate to admit it but I am not naturally open to "the plan"... because its turning out to be much different than MY plan and its painful to try to let go of My plan. So, I too hope that this year I can gain more openness to the plan that He has for me and my family. Thanks for sharing this lesson. I needed to hear it.