2011: The Year of My Best Friend

Frost glitters in the headlights, a million diamonds in a ditch. A million of His gifts scattered just for a night, just for my hungry eyes. I think back on a year of slowly counting the small things. How the joy has glistened brilliant on the darkest days, and lit up my heart in ways I didn't think possible. I read Deuteronomy 30:20-21, the verses that pulled me out of suicidal hopelessness, to a friend facing her own season of hopelessness last night. I think about His command, to choose life instead of death, blessing instead of cursing, to serve Him with our whole mind, body and spirit. How does that look in real life, with skin on? It seems like an impossible command...especially that last part. Like He is setting us up to fail.

I remember slowly that this is a book of law, a book for a time before Christ's ultimate redemption of our whole human race. The law was instituted to highlight the failings of humanity, how far we are from the perfection of God, how often we disobey, intentionally or unintentionally. While He certainly wants us to strive for that whole mind, body, spirit servitude, He knew from the beginning of time that we would fail at this.

This year, grayed out by depression and plagued by nightmares, flashbacks, and moments of the most utter helplessness and sorrow, I have succeeded at one thing...putting skin on Deuteronomy 30:20-21. I have chosen life instead of death, blessing instead of cursing, and laid myself out to serve Him wholly. Of course, I've failed in the minutiae of life, but as I look back at the big picture of 2011, I have done better at this than ever before.

What has that looked like? Willingness to welcome Him into my darkest days. Obedience in telling Him how I feel, instead of kicking Him out when I am angry. Pleading to Him when the tears burn sulfuric and the chest heaves with uncontainable grief. Remembering Him when the road of life is easy, and my burden lighter. Not forgetting His sustenance and faithfulness when I am filled with joy.

Following this command has healed my soul. And while depression still lurks, and sorrow still devours, I am never alone in my abyss. When the sun is shining and the smiles beaming, I have someone to thank, someone to revel with. In the most friendless year of my life, I find loneliness peopled by the divine, and I am satisfied, for the first time. It is a taste of eternity, walking daily with Christ. 2001 was the year of the Lover of my soul, 2006 was the year of my rescue from my temper, 2011 is the year of finally knowing Him as my Best Friend.

For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend to heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it. See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. If you obey the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you today, by loving the LORD your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments, then you shall live and multiply...But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, I declare to you today, that you shall surely perish. I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the LORD your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days. (Deuteronomy 30:11-21a exc.)