Here we are: on the other side of another leap in time that isn’t truly that at all.
And, just like a year ago, here I sit: sentimental and utterly in awe of all the ways my God has carried me throughout the last twelve months. (In fairness, it’s been a bit over a year since I did this; my top-of-the-year blog post for 2017 was several weeks into the year because that season was crazy.)
What you’ve probably forgotten if you follow this blog, and didn’t know if you don’t generally, is that last January I declared that 2017 was Narnia. Then I forgot all about that declaration and just lived life to the hilt, not remembering my metaphor until just recently.
2017 was Narnia in all the ways I’d hoped and never known to hope, and while last night was no “Last Battle,” it was an amazing culmination to an amazing year.
2017 was also a song. It began with one, and the sound reverberated through nearly every step, and it taught me something about myself.
My soul sings.
It sings a song so loud, so intense, that sometimes I don’t think I can bear it. There is a passion within me deeper than anything I’ve ever known, and my words can’t tell it and my tears can’t release it, and it’s so beautiful that sometimes I want to swan-dive into the sunset so that the radiance of it can wash over me.
And I don’t think it’s just me. But that’s hard to say because…well, the whole concept is just hard to say.
Soul-songs are one of those things that I can’t quite linguistically pin down. Which isn’t to say that I haven’t been trying for days and weeks and months. I totally have. I still am. And while I’m not sure how well it will go, here goes.
I believe our souls sing a song. It’s a song unique to each of us, and it’s shaped by who we are and who we’ve been and where we’re going and where we are. And, I think, it’s exquisitely beautiful.
In fact, if I could invent a world exactly to my liking, it’s one where we’d know our soulmate because we’d be able to hear their soul-song. Like, the brush of a hand against yours and you’d hear a song that would take your breath away and you’d know.
But that’s a rabbit trail.
I think our souls are constantly singing a song of us, but we don’t notice it because it’s so constant. However, there are things in my life—and hopefully in yours, too—that make the music swell up and fill my chest. And it aches a little bit, but it’s a good ache.
One of the (many) things that stirs my soul is the golden hour. You know what I’m talking about: those fleeting moments when the world is gilded in magic and it seems like anything can happen and might happen and will happen. And anything that happens…it’ll be good.
A few days ago I found myself gliding across the New Mexico desert on what could be called anything but a peaceful drive. My family is many things, but harmonious is not one of them, so put any number of us in the cab of a truck for five hours, and life’s bound to get at least mildly unpleasant for at least most of us.
For a bit, though, the sun was in that perfect spot and outside everything glowed and the shadow of our pickup truck raced along beside us and entranced my soul. And, despite the bickering behind me, my soul sang of freedom and vitality and all the things I’ve been learning to celebrate loud this year.
Of course, eventually the world faded back to normal, a transition fast followed by dusk, and the stars appeared, and we followed our headlights into the night. And my soul-song faded to the background and colored my dreams.
Since I live for those moments when my song swells, this year has been amazing. Because while 2017 has been some kind of year, there have been so many of those crescendos.
Perhaps not so startling, though.
After all, my year started with a song among friends, with my back pressed to a piano so that the music could drive deep into my soul and stick.
So why should I be surprised that it stuck?
My year has been so full of music. Concerts and corporate worship and late nights curled up on Gracie’s bed with the guitar and our voices. Unabashed dancing on my way to work. Radio hopelessly loud as I chased life all over the country.
Zephaniah 3:17 says, “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”
That has always been one of my favorite verses. Because it tells me that this song inside me, the one I’m just beginning to discover, it’s only echoing the one that’s being sung over my life by the one who’s put the breath in my longs and the blood in my veins.
In some ways, it makes me really sad that I’m not a musician, that my fingers will never be able to coax the music out of me and into the world through an instrument. Yet I find that so many others—the true musicians of the world—have so beautifully captured the various melodies of my heart that I can’t feel too sad about it.
In fact, there’s a lot of hope and security in knowing that, while our soul-songs are so unique, they’re also so similar. We’re not alone in our hopes and dreams and fears and insecurities.
2017 was Narnia and it was a song, and it was staring deep into the eyes of my Aslan and knowing myself better for it.
Now I stride into 2018, stronger than ever, ready to learn more and love deeper.
Last year started with a song among friends.
This year started with food.
|my soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior|Luke 1:46-47|