Joy in 2016

By Jennifer Hallmark

joy quoteI’m moving slowly back and forth in the old timey rocker/glider in Mom’s living room. It’s December 30th and
I’m working on my January blog post while I’m here. My stepdad’s health has been declining so I sit with him while Mom goes to the doctor and shops. Thoughts about how my year is ending, similar to how it began, circles in my mind. Without going into detail, the first two weeks of January were bewildering. My word of focus for 2015 was grace, but to me, unexpected or unforeseen would have been more appropriate. In reality, I needed an abundance of grace to see me through last year. I more than understood why Matthew 6:34 is in the Bible.

‘Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.’ NKJV

In 2015, all my worries were for naught. What I worried about didn’t come to pass, but things I never could have imagined did. So I’ve tried to process 2015 the best I can and look forward to 2016.sylvester-1097596_1920

Really.

I mean, Alabama just won the semi-final college football game and will go to the Championship. And even though I ended the year with bronchitis, the holidays are over and I’m entering a writing season. My 2016 focus is set (seek God) and I’m ready.

Or I was until January 2nd.

The ambulance came for my stepdad who had double pneumonia. The back and forth trips from ICU to the waiting room to home and back to ICU began. By the time you read this, I hope he will have made it into a regular hospital room, but he won’t be home yet.

So what do you do when plans continually go awry? Am I the only one?

No. I passed too many people in the elevator, in the hallways, and in the hospital cafeteria to feel too sorry for myself. People whose lives have been disrupted by… well …life.

Should I just chunk 2016 and go to the pity party that waits just around the corner? Or keep writing, helping my family, cleaning house, shopping for groceries–all the things that make life what it is?

‘Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.’ Hebrews 10:23 NLT

BibleWhat is God’s promise? That Jesus shed his blood for us, took our punishment, and opened a new way. The Bible is full of so many promises. We are loved, accepted in the Beloved, a royal priesthood, set apart, and never alone, to name a few.

I love to remember the promises in the quiet, productive times, but I need to remember them in the chaotic times when the ground is shaking, and I have trouble standing.

I’ll step boldly on into this unsteady month of January, writing snatches of work here and there. Cleaning when I can. Resting when able. And I’ll step with joy, knowing God hasn’t left his throne and I’m always cherished and loved.

Today I choose JOY.

Writing Prompt: Let’s take the letters that make up the word JOY. Write a short story which includes one word that begins with a J, one that begins with an O, and one that begins with a Y.  Enter it in the comments for a double entry in our bi-yearly contest.

8 thoughts on “Joy in 2016

  1. Yay, our son and his wife have a new member in their family! One sweet little boy! JOY has filled our hearts! And oh…
    Ohh, another grandbaby is due any day. Yes! Just having a blessed year.
    Praying JOY to you this new start of the year!

  2. It’s been a rough year for you Jen. Your determination pressing on, despite the circumstances and accompanying emotions, will carry you through, one moment at a time.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s