A few months ago I was walking around the streets of Baltimore with a dear friend. . . hopelessly lost. In the midst of the joy of being together on an adventure we had utterly forgotten where the car was parked. As the miles and hours passed (oh yes, we were lost for that long) we began to get frazzled and a little frustrated with our inability to be where we "needed" to be.
As we sat in a little coffee shop, windblown and tired, I decided that if we were going to be lost we might as well enjoy it! There was a sort of beauty in being lost and lost with a friend. So I pushed aside the growing frustration and decided to let the unexpected beauty fill my sight. As we continued walking we ran into churches, gardens, and museums that we would never have seen if we had taken the "easy" path. It was a longer journey for sure, but it would be a memory for a lifetime. What had started out as a frustrating misadventure was now a whole new beautiful adventure.
2014 was kind of like that moment in Baltimore. It wasn't the path I had expected or the path back the way that I had come. It was full of its own steep hills and quiet frustrations, but amidst this unexpected path there was one thing that couldn't be missed. . . the beauty that I could not have come across in any other way.
There was beauty in a faith challenged and made stronger and in the tears and laughs that brought me closer to some of the most resilient and amazing teenagers I have ever met. There was beauty in friendships made brighter and weddings in vineyards, long car rides and cakes with your name on them. There was unexpected blessings in new leadership, new structure, new ideas, in coming home and rejoicing with life moving forward. There were trips that came at just the right time and acquaintances that became the best of friends.
It was a year of absolutely unexpected treasures.
In the end, the bumps and the missteps all led me to right here, right now, exactly where I want to be. And the best part of it all was who I got to walk those steps with. Perhaps the theme for 2014 was new friends. I gained some of the best friends this year and they seemed to come out of nowhere! I got to rejoice in the depth of friendships miles away that held strong. And I leave 2014 feeling as if every long turn, every unexpected departure from "the plan" held every good thing I might have missed if I hadn't taken this unexpected journey.
As we come upon 2015 I cannot wait to see what unexpected treasures lie ahead. I hope that I will embrace this year with more gentleness and kindness, and I hope that I will not miss any of the beauty in the turns of the path.
Happy New Year my friends. Thank you for making this year one of the best!