And a Grace-filled New Year

I keep telling my family I feel a little surreal, and they are getting tired of it. I do feel a little surreal, though. My thoughts are ranging far and unpredictable, and I sense an aura of weird and fear and shaking hands. This, however, I am attributing to the coffee. In reality, I tell myself, there is nothing dreamlike about this being New Year’s Eve, and tomorrow being 2020, and the fact that I’m going to my cousin’s place in Allentown tonight, or my plans to be at Bible school in a week, or the thought that I have no idea what all this year might hold for me…

None of that is surreal, and I was expecting all of it, and the aura is most certainly due to the three cups of coffee and one cup of chai tea I consumed so far today. I was having a hard time feeling energetic about life, but now I’m having a hard time feeling that life is real. Too much caffeine will do that to me.

But life is very real, and this past year was real, too. I found the paper I filled out a year ago with resolutions and ideas and memories from 2018. It was a little surprising. A year was not that long ago, but you learn so much in a year, and so much happens in a year.

For instance, starting a blog was not in my plans for 2019. I don’t really remember what inspired me to create a blog and start blogging. Especially since I was in the middle of a semester, and one would think I had enough writing assignments without a blog. But no, I felt like blogging and so I did, and it’s been rather fun!

Something I didn’t do that was on my list, and very unlikely in my mind when I wrote it, was go to Syria. I did, however, spend two weeks in Iraq with a medical team, which was mind-growing and about as close to Syria as you can get without actually being in Syria.

In fact, when I look at my list, I realize that there are more things I didn’t do then things I did do. I wanted to go to the Titanic Museum, which didn’t happen, run in a 5K, which didn’t happen, and make new friends, which didn’t happen. Oh, actually, maybe that did happen, but I wish it had happened on a larger scale, because more friends would be fun.

So there’s a goal for 2020. My bucket list can keep growing, and the funny thing is that sometimes I check things off that weren’t even there! That’s the exciting thing about life, that you never know what’s around the next corner, and sometimes that’s a little scary too. There’s nothing surreal about unpredictability, no matter how much coffee you’ve consumed. It’s just a fact of life.

Last year I didn’t say, “Oh, I’m going to go hike 16 miles through mountains on a two-day hiking trip, while carrying my worldly possessions on my back.” Nor did I say, “In 2019, I shall fly to Texas to see my brother two times, and my sister will move to Cambodia.”

I didn’t decide around New Year’s Day last year to start a girl’s prayer group, or to learn about SIADH in children with the flu, or to take care of multiple babies going through withdrawal and get attached to them over the hours spent caring for them…

But all of those things came to me through the fingers of God, and it makes me wonder what He has in store for me this year. I may very well write out a list of things I want to do in 2020, starting with going to Bible school for 5 weeks and ending with the doubtful, like swimming with dolphins (which has been on my bucket list for a while).

More than likely, though, my life will be eventful and completely different then my ideas, and it will keep me looking to God with a tried and true trust. He knows the plans He has for us, and He works all things together for good.

In closing I want to share I poem that I didn’t write—a very sweet friend of mine wrote it, and I love it. Better than any of my flimsy plans for this coming year, it presents a goal which we can rest in, assured He will not let us down when we set our hearts on this…


To sail, to glide, to fly,
To mount on wings
Like eagles
Above this tattered life
And find
True strength, when I am fainting.
His power
Far above my own,
No end or measure found,
He understands. He knows.
He does NOT sleep.
We all grow faint and weary.
We know we have
Our limit,
But God does not.
He is the I AM.
No searching of His wisdom,
And if my heart can only
Trust and wait,
It is for me!
(by BJL)

That makes me feel like all goals and all worries and all feelings of surreality (which autocorrect says is not a word, but that Alison says is) from drinking too much coffee are shallow and fleeting and not to be focused on too hard.

…To mount on wings like eagles above this tattered life and find true strength, when I am fainting… It is for me!

May that be my goal, my focus, my life…

A grace-filled 2020, to all.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. You do an amazing job of putting your thoughts into words! Yes, 2020 is going to be filled with twists and turns; sad times, happy times. But God is our Guide and if we follow him he will see us through the thick and thin. May you have a grace-filled year too, Alison!

    1. Thank you, Elise!

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