New Year’s Eve for our family is usually a pretty low-key affair. This year Darren and I enjoyed an early dinner with a couple of friends then a movie, planning to be home early, then to watch the ball drop. It seemed to be a plan for a perfect evening. That is until our chosen movie took me on a wild and emotional ride that changed the entire evening.
Our movie selection for the evening was Wild. Based on the book I read two years ago, I felt compelled to see this movie. I just had to see it. The main character (also a Cheryl) was one I could relate to so well when I read the book. She was reeling from the loss of her mother; mine was very seriously ill. “Other Cheryl” ultimately set out on the Pacific Crest Trail to find herself; becoming one with nature (hiking, running or otherwise exploring our world) is how I soothe my soul, too. Parts of the book were especially hard to read. A dying mom while my mom was so sick was hard, of course. But then Other Cheryl also chronicled her spiral into a world of drugs and promiscuity, a heartbreaking and disturbing path (my connection with her untamed emotions ended there; she was indeed pretty wild).
When the book was made into a movie, I felt compelled to see it, even realizing that what was difficult for me in the book would likely be intensified on the big screen (understatement of 2014, by the way). I had to see it, though, especially now that I have also lost my mom. The end result was two hours of a wrenched heart and lots of tears, then spending the final couple of hours of the year doing some reflecting, a little withdrawing, and a lot of thinking “good riddance.” It wasn’t a pretty or fun way to end 2014, but maybe it was appropriate.
The great thing about mornings (any morning, not just New Year’s Day) is that each one is a fresh start. Each morning is a gift from God, ready to be unwrapped. We don’t ever know what the day will hold, but in my heart, God’s gift of morning is always lined in hope. To be honest…today’s gift wasn’t exactly what I had asked for. Indeed, it was a blessed day with family and football, and it was good. And I’m thankful for that! But I had asked, selfishly, for the lingering veil of sadness to be lifted. But no, not yet. Not today. But tomorrow is a new day, and I will open God’s gift with a grateful heart and I will first and foremost embrace the lining of hope. Wildly.
“Weeping may endure for the night but joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5