So Much Can Change Within a Year


By JMathis

As each year passes, I come to the realization that so much can change within a year. Triumph can turn to despair. Prosperity can turn to lack. Passion can turn to disdain. Peace can turn to chaos. There is the relief of finally receiving a job offer after months of job searching, only to be laid-off four months later. Last one in, first one out. There is the joy of a new pregnancy, followed by the anguish of delivering a stillborn child. How, God? Why? There is the glimmer in your eye when you think you have finally met ‘the one’, just to find out later that he’s trashing you as clingy and desperate at the office happy hour. I thought real men didn’t kiss and tell.

I think back to one such manic year in my life, where I felt the agonizing pain of my first, real heartbreak. I remember being sucker-punched and blindsided by him, feeling that there was no fair warning of the impending hurricane that was about to upend my days and my nights. Crying so much, I felt my core was being ripped to shreds. I envisioned that even my molecular fabric was being crushed and destroyed, cell by cell. February, for me, was the cruelest month, and every Valentine’s heart I saw on display was just a painful reminder that my own heart had been shattered and left for dead. March was the month I gave up Kleenex, since pillows were way more effective in mopping up my tears. April brought with it a blustering rainstorm where I walked three miles in the freezing rain, wheezing and praying to get hit by a car or just succumb to hypothermia.

Then one day, it was October. It was a crisp, fall morning and I distinctly remember humming show tunes from The Sound of Music. (Yes, people, you heard it here first. I am a complete sissy for The Von Trapp Family. And musicals. And Glee.)

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens,
bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens…

I remember sitting in front of my desk, lovingly stroking the keys of my computer. (I know I sound like a loon, but indulge me a bit further.) I searched for the letter ‘A’. Thank you, Lord, for my beautiful friend, Asha, whose smile warms my day.

Doe- a deer, a female deer
Ray- a drop of golden sun…

I searched for the letter ‘B’. Thank you, Lord, for bagels, especially cinnamon-raisin bagels smothered in cream cheese and strawberry jelly. I searched for the letter ‘C’. Thank you, Lord, for Christ who saved a wretch like me. And then, it went on and on, letter by letter, with my heart bursting at the seams with thankfulness over how much God loves me. Thank you, Lord, for zebras, because I can’t think of anything else that starts with ‘Z’.

I have confidence in confidence alone!
Besides which you see, I have confidence
In me!!!!!!!!!!!!

After going through the entire alphabet on my keyboard (and singing the entire Sound of Music soundtrack in my head), I realized I was a mess. Sane people just don’t gaze dreamily at letters on a keyboard. Yet, I was a good mess. Not the same mess I was months before, but the kind of warm, gushy, yummy, chocolatey mess you find in the middle of a hot, molten lava cake. The kind of mess that embarrassingly gets all over your fingers and your face, but whoa, is it heavenly. My broken heart was finally healing; not totally healed, but it was healing.

What had happened between February and October? What had changed from the beginning of the year to the end?


The Resolve to live and not die. The Resolve to breathe and brush my teeth every day. The Resolve to say, Lord, fix me, because I can’t. I just can’t.”

So much can change within a year. This year, let your resolutions be resolute. Resolve to resolve. Resolve to push through fear. Resolve to push through insecurity. Resolve to push through doubts. Resolve to push through anger. Resolve to push through bitterness. Resolve to push through a bad year.

re·solve (ri zälv, -zôlv)

1. To make a firm decision about. (God, I put You first this year.)

2. To change or convert. (God, make me more like You.)

3. To find a solution to; solve. (God, I know You have the answers.)

4. To remove or dispel. (God, take away anything that is not of You.)

This year, resolve to resolve. Resolve to heal. Resolve to forgive. Resolve to let go. Resolve to love. Resolve to get messy and resolve to just trust…trust in God’s life-transformative promise to you:

Jeremiah 29:11-14. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity.

So much can change within a year.