Sunday, January 1, 2012

You Just Never Know

When 2011 started, pretty much the only thing I knew was that we would be taking a sabbatical month in July. As I look back over the year, I realize that pretty much everything else that happened has been a surprise.

You just never know what a year will bring.

In January I would have had no idea that my grandmother would die just a month later--only three months before her 100th birthday.

I had no plans to take Kate, Mary, and Lauren to New York City for spring break. But what great memories I have of that trip and what a special blessing to get to know Kate’s friends a little better.

On January 1, 2011 I never, ever, in a million years (hyperbole, much?) would have expected to meet up with my former department chair, and I certainly did not think that she would ask me (for a second time) to come back to work, and I absolutely positively DID NOT expect the answer to come flying out of my mouth to be “Yes.” What a reversal of so many things.

An inconvenience? Maybe. A surprise? To be sure. A complete turn around of my life? You bet.

The best thing for me and my family right now? Absolutely.

Over the past couple of years I have tried to be more intentional about following God. I have tried to say yes to His call. And, oh how He has surprised me.

Good surprises.

Scary surprises.

Some sad surprises.

But the most-fulfilling-of-all surprises.

And so, on this first day of January 2012, I can honestly say that I have no idea what this year will bring.

And that’s entirely O.K. with me.

Because here’s what I’ve learned in my nearly half-century of living: when I make the plans things never quite go as well as I had hoped. But when I open myself to what God has in store for me, whatever that entails, I have learned that His plans are always so much better, so much more interesting, so much more fulfilling than anything I could ever dream up.

So on this day I look ahead, not with fear, nor with dread. I look ahead with bright anticipation, looking forward to what our good and loving God has in store for me.

. . . and all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.
 Julian of Norwich



  1. You wrapped up
    your beautiful
    post with one of
    my favorite quotes!
    What a year; an
    amazing year full
    of surprises. I am
    sorry about your
    Grandma ~ she looked
    like a sweetie. May
    your 2012 be filled
    with more special

    xx Suzanne

  2. Thanks, Suzanne. I love that quote too! (And I'll probably be writing more about it soon.)

  3. I loved this. Beautiful and inspiring. Happy New Year! :)

  4. It's so true that none of us knows what this year will hold. We have hopes, dreams, and projects, but our times are indeed in God's hand. Lovely post.

  5. Here's to 2012... the surprises and also the goals achieved... we know that God has it all in control, and that is why we can all move forward with confidence!
    Thanks for sharing this.