New. Such a short word, yet so much depth or change or hope or disappointment or almost anything can go along with the word. New job, new schedule, new medication, new relationship, new president, new loss, new haircut, new phone, new nail polish. The list is endlessly random.
This year has held several "news" for me. New health challenges, new medical journey, new pain, new doctors, new work schedule, new (amazing) friends, new understanding of my God, new understanding of myself. Some of these new things have been wonderful, (many) others have been some of the greatest challenges I've ever faced. And there are potential other "news" on the table for within the next few months, including moving out of my parents' home and new ministry opportunities.
Now I'll be honest; I'm not a huge fan of new. Don't get me wrong, I love new clothes, new makeup, new movies, new food, new earrings, new guns, new traveling experiences. What I don't like are new, uncharted, scary, painful waters. Unsettling change, well, unsettles me. This past weekend I had bad dreams about my new work schedule. While I'm thrilled to switch to full-time from a financial standpoint, I'm completely daunted by it health wise. I don't like thinking about the fewer traveling opportunities, fewer hours to spend with family and friends, fewer moments to do "whatever". That will probably make many people chuckle. I mean, I'm in my twenties and this is normal. But it wasn't my normal. And now I'm getting used to a new normal. And really, the timing couldn't be more ironic. My health gets worse (needing more rest) right at the same time my hours quadruple. My hospital stay held frequent phone calls with my boss sorting out the new arrangement. Let me give you a word of advice: if at all possible, avoid long, logistical, financial conversations with your employer when you are completely drugged up. That's all I'll say.
On the flip side, there are new things I wish and pray for...new health, new opportunities, new thoughts, new relationship. It's the good changes that seem to be so slow in coming. And yet, if they were truly for good, they'd happen. And my God is the only Decider of what's good or not good. I'm pretty sure He gets a laugh when I passionately express my opinion of how things should be.
Relationally this year has held new change as well. (Yes, I do realize relationally is not really a word. But I'm a Webster so I can make up whatever the heck I want. ::grin::) Struggling relationships have gotten to be less of a struggle. Differences have (finally) been overlooked as less important than a relationship. The struggles are still there, as is the judgment. But huge steps have been made in the right direction, largely due to the fact that we all came to face to face with my mortality. As much as the physical pain of this year has been nightmarish, the "side effects" of these improved relationships make it worth it. I may not love the means God's been using, but I sure as heck am thankful for the results.
I guess this whole "new" thing has just really been on my mind the past few days as it's been the beginning of a new week, a new month, and a new schedule. And just another random "new" thing...it's crazy how many new colors a bruise can turn. I have several of them from all the blood draws and IV's of last week. If it wasn't so painful, it'd be amusing. (Random rabbit trail done.)
Change and new keep me on my toes and keep me trusting my God. There is nothing new about HIM. He stays the same. I don't know how I'd survive if I didn't live based on that Rock. My life is so completely unpredictable that if I didn't know the One planning it all, I'd freak out. Who am I kidding...I sometimes freak out even when I do know. So I hate to imagine what I'd be like otherwise. And as I sit here, I'm reminded that He is the God who makes all things new. New in a good way. New in a beautiful way. It's my humanness that doesn't care for new. He is a God of new beginnings, new chances, new days, new opportunities, new revelations of Himself.
I've decided to come up with a random list of new things I'm thankful for...and I'm pretty sure a few "old" things will be thrown in as well.
ben & jerry's gherry garcia ice cream
(thank you, Lydia, for yet another new fattening love ;))
apple juice & sierra mist...my life-saving hospital "mixed drink"
pain meds that make it possible to breathe again
nurses that our out of this world amazing
doctors who give lots of time and input
gardens in the middle of a hospital
twix ice cream
several new pairs of earrings
funny get well cards
sea salt body scrub
relaxing bath salts
applebees gift card
visits with my closest friends while in the hospital/recovering
a God who gives more grace in one day than I come close to deserving in an entire lifetime
mini ice cream sandwiches
snickers ice cream bars
yoga pants & tank tops
huge monetary gift in the mail
amish potato salad
a fun overnight visit with Colorado family
In closing, I'll just let you in on a little secret. I love ice cream. I know that will come as a surprise, but I thought I'd share something deep about myself. Happy 4th of July!