I used to gather my strength at the year’s end for a running start into the new one.
I’d limp through Christmas, the demands and social gatherings jabbing tender places. I’m no stranger to the ache and weariness the holiday season can bring. The twinge in your gut, that hollow space when everyone else seemed to be Christmas-ing better. Houses decked out with twinkling white lights arranged and tidy, fresh garland draping a stocking adorned fireplace, and each smiling child with flour frosted fingers cutting out gingerbread and sugar cookies. Everyone gathered for a nightly advent reading with the children sitting solemnly in clean jammies enthralled instead of rolling around on the floor and asking how much longer in that nasally whine that stretches syllables into angst.
I wanted simplicity and holiness, a stripped down way to anticipate Jesus drawing near to me, a Savior come to ransom me, but each year felt more like a struggle to get there than an arrival of a Christ to break into my broken.
But New Years held promise. A fresh start and a chance to make the upcoming year better.