I’ve spent the two weeks thinking about the future. It isn’t necessarily a “New Year’s Resolution” or even a “Word for the Year” kind of pondering. It’s more of a “what do I want to be” kind of processing.
2017 was hard. I spent a vast majority of social gatherings silently pleaded with everyone I met not to say, “Well, it could be worse!” Because life in the Tromp house always seemed to become worse.
But somewhere in the tears, exhaustion, and bracing myself for what would come next, I began to redefine a few things. Big things.
Like the words, “I’m blessed.”
Are there any two words more misused than “I’m blessed”?
I’m blessed to have two well-behaved, intelligent, talented kids.
I’m blessed with a good job.
So if her kids are C students who struggle with friends and have absolutely NO talent in soccer or art, is she not blessed?
If your husband is fired, are you not blessed?
If, heaven forbid, her doctor says she have breast cancer, is she not blessed?
If life doesn’t go as I planned, am I not blessed?
And that led me straight into pondering the nature of love and suffering. In the Christian culture, we talk about confronting the bad things of life with thanksgiving. And it works, to an extent.
But maybe there are moments when covering pain with thanksgiving just isn’t right…at least not yet.
There’s an interplay between our position as beloved of God and inevitable suffering in life, and I think the link may be lament.
Where we echo with the prophet Jeremiah, “They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace.”
I don’t know what it looks like quite yet—this accepting suffering as a part of being beloved. It’s one of the many things I’ll be exploring this year and I welcome you all along for the journey.