The New Year of 2014 is upon us and my mind is swirling and whirling and twirling with thoughts and plans and adjustments that I intend to make in the year to come. Many people embrace the concept of New Year’s Resolutions. I suppose I am one of them. I grow very contemplative during the last week of any year and consider what I’ve done right and what I’d do differently if given a chance. Then, I consider the brand spanking new year ahead and realize I do have a chance to do many things differently. I think somewhere along the way, a New Year has become my ultimate chance at a do-over. It is my chance to make amends, start again and try one more time.
This year I am going to approach my goals a bit differently. As I’ve prayed and pondered what needs doing, my dreams and desires, the many challenges that I am already aware of, I find myself standing at a crossroad. I think for some time now I have been traveling a multi-laned, fast-paced, alarmingly-busy road. And now, suddenly it seems to me, I find myself at a point where I know I can’t continue that route any more. Looking back over my shoulder I am fully aware that I went to some remarkable destinations as I zipped through life these last few years. I have no regrets. I did what I felt I should do. I did what I wanted to do. I made choices and I buckled in and I took the ride. But, things are about to change.
I suspect that I’ve been anticipating this new direction ahead for some time. For months I have been attempting to adjust my speed and avoid traffic jams. I’ve been careful about watching for road signs along the way that caution me about upcoming curves or possible hazards. I cautioned myself about too many distractions and tried to avoid being sidetracked. I did all I knew to do so that I could continue my journey. Then, last week, I received a call from the doctor who had recently tested two of my seven children for dyslexia. She told me that one of my sons has two forms and the other has all three. I was astounded. We were doing the testing to rule out dyslexia. Instead, I realized that we were about to embark on a brand new journey for our family and I felt totally unprepared.
I don’t mean to imply that this was a life threatening disease or an insurmountable task. It is doable, I understand that. But, it needs doing and quite frankly, I was just about done out. After a good cry and thorough nose blowing, I began to gather info and the more I read, the more astounded I was. This was going to not only be a journey, this was going to reroute our lives for a season. We were about to take a new direction.
As I prayed and wiped more unbidden tears, I attempted to process the flood of emotions that washed over me. Guilt – what had taken me so long to get this testing done? Fear – this is brand new territory and I don’t know what to expect. Guilt – I am going to have to make adjustments in my commitments and projects. Relief – now I know the name of the battle we have been fighting. Guilt – I am going to disappoint some folks. Frustration – my plans were being suddenly altered and I had been caught off guard. Guilt – I have failed my children.
Sound a little over-dramatic? Well, perhaps, but, it was no performance. I was as honest and transparent and sincere as I could be as I poured my heart out before an audience of one, The Lord. Did you notice how amid all the emotions there was one more prevalent than the others? Guilt. Boo on guilt. It immobilizes us, freezes us in place and prevents progress. Thankfully, some precious friends stomped the guts out of guilt right away and my rock here on this earth, my husband Henry, comforted and encouraged me. My mom, who is also such a great friend, let me pour it all out and then helped me mop it back up.
When all was said and done, there I stood at a crossroad and there were choices to make. The choice was clear. I would take the direction that led me away from the superwoman highway and divert my energies, time and efforts towards this new journey of understanding and addressing Dyslexia. Although I can’t see it yet with my naked eyes, I am convinced that down the road I may be able to merge again with the main road I must leave for now. I will be ready to pick up the pace and zip along happily towards exciting destinations ahead. As for this season, I will be the stronger, the better for it on the other side.
I don’t know what may have you feeling sidetracked as you face 2014. It could be so many things. Finances, health issues, grief, relational conflicts, on and on I could go. But, whatever it is that you face, consider the crossroads before you. There’s no going back, no room in the trunk for regrets and guilt, no place in your life for unnecessary loads of frustration, no passengers allowed who are proven peace-thieves. It is time to make a decision. Are you ready for a journey? Are you willing to take the lesser traveled road? It is your choice, choose wisely. I certainly plan to.
“The Lord said to His people: ‘You are standing at the crossroads. So consider your path. Ask where the old, reliable paths are. Ask where the path is that leads to blessing and follow it. If you do, you will find rest for your souls.'” Jeremiah 6:16