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IMG_1163.jpg2016 has been a year of felt adventure – unexpected pain and inconvenience – defining and shaping the course of my life. Sorrow mixed with winter’s snow began to convince me that I may never taste happiness again, but to my astonishment, the agony in my heart began to melt away with the onset of spring. As I pressed into my anguish, what I thought should be a season of bitterness turned instead into a year of rich recovery; brim full with immensity of life.  The roots of my soul received redemptive rain reviving the dry, shriveled shell of the human that I had become, and by summer I was ablaze with joy.

Tonight I’ve been reflecting on the delight and hardship that I’ve walked through this year and the following passage from Heretics that I quoted back in April keeps coming to mind:

The thing which keeps life romantic and full of fiery possibilities is the existence of these great plain limitations which force all of us to meet the things we do not like or do not expect. It is vain for the supercilious moderns to talk of being in uncongenial surroundings. To be in a romance is to be in uncongenial surroundings. To be born into this earth is to be born into uncongenial surroundings, hence to be born into a romance.  – GKC, Heretics

This year has been more romantic than I could have imagined: I’ve had to do more things that I’ve disliked without money, a fallback plan, or an easy escape. It’s been a dreadfully hard year. In Mere Christianity, CS Lewis says that”…we must not be surprised if we are in for a rough time…But why now?…It seems to us all unnecessary: but that is because we have not yet had the slightest notion of the tremendous thing He means to make of us.”

I may not be looking at the canyon from the other side just yet, but persevering through this year has helped me come alive. I’ve begun to remember who I am and rediscover the things I love. I’ve begun to build my life around a new rhythm, one that understands my limitness, yet glories in it, because it gives me the grace to be a finite human in a turning world. I’m not supposed to be able to do it all or have everything together. And I’ve grown ever-more confident that He wants to do and is doing great things – not only in my life but all over this beautiful, languished world.

He who began a good work will be faithful to complete it, if I let him.  Lewis continues, “if we let Him – for we can prevent Him, if we choose – He will make the feeblest and filthiest of us into a god or goddess, a dazzling, radiant, immortal creature, pulsating all through with such energy and joy and wisdom and love as we cannot now imagine, a bright stainless mirror which reflects back to God perfectly (though, of course, on a smaller scale) His own boundless power and delight and goodness. The process will be long and in parts very painful, but this is what we are in for. Nothing less. He meant what He said.”

What could be more of an adventure than this?