I’m coming back to the blank page. If you’ve never written, or don’t know what that’s like, it’s a little like coming to a new year. It feels fresh, new, full of endless possibility, and a little terrifying. The dawning of a New Year brings a time of reflection. Some of us take a moment to read over what’s already been written. We look back on what’s come before, we assess what the past year has brought us, done in us, and the ways it has grown us or wounded us.
The New Year is a time of decisions. We decide how we want to live our coming year. We decide that we will eat less chocolate, or eat more chocolate, or that we will go to the gym more consistently, or that we will be more present to our families. No matter what we decide, it’s up to us. We can’t delegate the results of that decision to someone else. We are both the CEO’s and the “Assistant to the Regional Manager” (for all my fellow fans of “The Office"). We make the decision at the start, but then we also are the ones left to follow through. The way we live the New Year is dependent on us, largely. In a sense, the New Year, like the blank page, is solely what we make of it.
The New Year takes us inward, where we must face what’s inside ourselves, and watch it emerge onto the page of our lives. For me, the turning of this calendar page is bringing some healing introspection, but it’s not without some sting. Probably like you, I’m a complicated mess of contradictions, of triumphs and emotional scars, of wonder and beauty and definitely a whole lot of ugly.
So the blank page, where there’s potential for all that’s inside to be exposed, is tricky. The blank page is the feeling of exposure. The reason it’s scary is not because there’s a lack of words, but precisely the opposite. There are so many words that I’ve been avoiding the page.
But just like I can’t avoid the New Year—it comes no matter if we stubbornly write 2016 on our documents or not—I can’t protect myself from the blank page. My computer aggressively stares me down from across the room, so I’m finally giving in. I have a hunch that the words that appear may be a little more introspective, perhaps more vulnerable.
I believe what appears on the page will reflect the theme I sense God giving me for 2017: “further up and further in.” I think there are things deeper within myself that God wants to bring to light, both to heal and to expose, and maybe someone could benefit from seeing those, too, even if only to know you’re not alone. I also want this to be a year of discovering who God is in deeper ways, of diving further into the truth of Jesus, and the truth of who I was created to be.
In keeping with the theme of vulnerability, here is a true picture of my morning. Please note the work out pants that I am using for, well, um, working out my feelings as I sit on the couch. I actually had every intention of exercising... but then, you know, I didn't. Instead, I ate Christmas candy, as evidenced by the wrappers, above. Baby steps. I am at least wearing the pants. The very stretchy pants.
So, what is your theme for the New Year? I'd love to read about it in the comments!