It is a new year. I am more hopeful about this year than I’ve been in a long time. There are so many reasons why, some I can share, some I can’t. Most I can’t. The last time I felt this hopeful about a new year it didn’t turn out so good.
It was the year that we closed the coffee shop. I had a feeling even before we opened the coffee and deli shop that it wasn’t a good idea. I had talked about this for years. Finally, too late, my husband thought he’d give me a dream. His heart was in the right place but he hadn’t noticed that I’d moved on. He hadn’t noticed that I didn’t talk about this dream the way I once had. I was more excited to be in school and be learning Hebrew. I discovered that I had a near unquenchable thirst for knowledge. I was an excellent student. I had come alive.
Instead, we opened the shop in spite of the nagging in my gut. I determined the year we decided to close that I’d never ignore my gut again. I’d never sign papers against my gut. I’d never make a decision against my gut. So far, that determination has not been challenged.
As hope for 2008 grew, I was ready to move from Trevecca to Lipscomb. I wasn’t changing denominations but Lipscomb gave me an opportunity to alter my path just enough, without losing credit to pursue a Masters of Divinity. This was the path to a Doctor of Ministry. The long postponed doctoral degree was coming in focus. Lipscomb also offered me a 60% scholarship throughout the program as long as I kept my GPA. It was an amazing opportunity.
During the month of January 2008 I began to recover my health that had been so beaten down by the work of owning and running a coffee shop and deli. I did it nearly single handedly. My daughter had a daughter and she was less help. My husband had a job and besides money, his biggest contribution was to mop the floor at night. I did the buying which meant multiple trips to Sam’s Warehouse and Sysco during the week. We had no food truck. I prepped and cooked all the food. I waited on all the customers. I washed their dishes. I dreamed up new ways to get people in and please them. Day after day I’d watch people chose a greasy nasty meat and three that shared the parking lot get customers while I sat praying for relief of any kind. My body and soul was nearly destroyed. Our finances have still not recovered.
The hope of 2008 didn’t last long. My husband interviewed in South Dakota that fateful year. It was February 25, our wedding anniversary that the call came. My life that was going to change for the better was now trumped by an offer he couldn’t and wouldn’t refuse. I should have never gone. I should have stayed. I should have went on to Lipscombs. But love does funny things, I’ve always chosen my vows and my husband over anything else. I don’t know if that’s right but it is how I am.
It’s the dawn of 2011. Soon it will be February 25th again. It will be our wedding anniversary, the anniversary of a fateful invitation to SD and the anniversary of my mother’s death. I will never celebrate my wedding anniversary with pure joy ever again. I wonder what life will be like by then. Like milk left on the counter, I wonder if my hope will be soured and curdled. I don’t know? No one knows. But this one thing I do know God will be with me and He’ll give me the grace I need to deal with all that 2011 has to offer.