I am a huge fan of P!nk. For more than 15 years, I have listened and memorized and given my heart and soul to behind the wheel performances of my favorites like “Just Like a Pill” and “Don’t Let Me Get Me” and “So What.” I resonate with her angst and general irritation at people and herself. There is one song that I have claimed as my personal anthem in times of chaos. 2017 would certainly fall into that category. So, here is my ode to 2017, in true P!nk form:
This used to be a funhouse
But now it’s full of evil clowns
It’s time to start the countdown
I’m gonna burn it down down down
I’m gonna burn it down
Nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, fun
For those of you that are all in fans, you know that I have left out a word or two in this quotation. But please know, I am singing a goodbye tribute to 2017 with the passion of the unedited version. This has been a year. I made a vision board in January and chose the word WHOLENESS to set my attention for the year. Every morning I would come into my bathroom and see this image:
My morning meditations called me to “Try” and be present in growth. I knew that I was going to need the rhythm of wholeness in January. I didn’t know why, but my spirit told me then that taking care of ALL of myself would be key. I also took this picture from a selection by Walter Brueggemann in January. Let this be a warning that when you breathe in prayers, sometimes God answers in ways that can make your life really, really uncomfortable.
I would say that my “nicely arranged patterns of security” were certainly rearranged in 2017. Oh, they were. Here is just a brief recap, any one of which would have been excitement enough:
AJ’s hives cover her eyes, Ally’s hip injury, January 20th, oldest started driving, CA adventure includes emergency intervention for hives and airway constriction, one of my best friends and ministry partners moved away, HARVEY, my oldest faced a life threatening illness, I spent time in the ER with more people than I would care to count, my dad went into complete kidney failure, we got a puppy. Sure that last one would be seen by many as a positive, but it was ONE. MORE. THING.
Of course, there have been many wonderful things, but it is hard to see them, so let me make a quick list to remind myself. AJ began dreaming with excitement about college, Ally had the opportunity to swim at her first national meet (and meet Winter), we celebrated an amazing Lent and Easter complete with a 40′ table, we went to Passport Camp, I met a Merman, I went to California on retreat, the Astros, The Table, “Glitter (in the Air)” and Evergreen.
These things were lovely, but the overwhelming pulse of this year has been so heavy. As P!nk said so well, “It’s time to start the countdown” because I am ready for 2018. There are many parts of this year that have provided much pain for so many people that I love.
So many texts calling all of my praying people to their knees.
So many sleepless nights of worry and listening to rain and tornado sirens.
So many hard conversations that I never wanted to have. This is the pounding story of 2017.
And while I am ready for newness, I fully recognize that just because the calendar has a new last number, the reality of a broken, human life (especially when you love deeply and with your whole heart) means that pain will happen in 2018. “The Truth About Love” is hard. As my better half tells me all of the time, “loving people is hard.”
It is hard because when you see them hurt, you hurt.
It is hard because to love, you have to trust. And you will be disappointed. You will.
It is hard because I cannot change people, places or things.
It is hard because I hate cancer and injustice and depression and so many others life-suckers.
It is hard because I have to fight the hardness of heart that wants to win after years like 2017. In 2017, “I Have Seen the Rain.”
“So What,” I go back to Jesus and P!nk. Her newest album has just been released. I will see her live again in April. And let me just tell you, her concerts are a little piece of church for me. In those two hours, I feel all the feels. I say all the words. I “Raise a Glass” of Coke to the music of my soul and I see WHOLENESS in songs that were written about a person and yet I hear the great hope of my life, my Healer.
It was you
The pill I keep taking
The nightmare I’m waking
There’s nothing, no nothing, nothing but you
My perfect rock bottom
My beautiful trauma
My love, my love, my drug, oh
Perhaps only an addict such as myself sees the glory of these words. But what you must know is that when I deconstructed the God of my understanding in my journey of recovery, the Power that keeps me “Sober” has a very important job. My God has be to more powerful than my favorite drug and give me a better high than anything my veins could love. God, for me, is more intoxicating than my best drunk.
And without the WHOLE power of God at work in my life in 2017, I would not be standing for 2018. “I Won’t Back Down.” So here we go. I will pray the prayer that has carried me daily for the past 10+ years and hourly some of 2017. I will cry out to Jesus – Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will.
2018, let’s “Get This Party Started”