2022 is upon us!
A new year awaits. Will it be a good year, a difficult year, a happy year, a sad year?
One thing is certain, none of us really know.
This time last year, none of us knew how challenging 2021 would continue to be. I doubt a rampant, infectious virus, creating an ongoing and seemingly never-ending global pandemic, was part of our new year roadmap. The past two years have read more like a movie script rather than real life. The kind of script you feel relieved is fiction.
It’s not fiction though. It’s so very real and, as we close 2021, please join me in taking time to remember lives lost as a result of COVID.
As I look back over my life, every year has had highs and lows. Mostly my life has been exciting and exhilarating. Yes, even the past 12 years fall into this category, despite my health failing me.
Each year, no matter my circumstances, new opportunities, to grow and learn, have always presented and I have had a sense of purpose.
As I approach this new year, I feel like I am lacking the sense of anticipation I usually have. Maybe because I’m in ridiculous pain due the progression of my bone disease.
Maybe because I’m entering the New Year feeling so exhausted before it even starts.
Maybe because it just feels like more of the same lies ahead.
Maybe because everything about my future feels so uncertain, and the reality is my body traps me in a world where I can’t make plans for today, let alone the year ahead.
Unveiling The Tapestry
The future can all sound rather depressing if I allow myself to continue thinking along this path. I will never dare to dream, dare to hope, dare to have faith there could be something exciting and exhilarating around the corner.
I love wall tapestries and I have a beautiful tapestry hanging above my bed. It was a precious gift from my husband about 10 years ago.
Have you looked closely at the back of a tapestry? Generally they are full of threads in a bit of a jumble. It’s hard to make out what the image is from this viewpoint.
Turn it over and it reveals a perfect picture. It makes sense, unless it’s abstract of course but let’s assume its a tranquil scene.
The chaos of all those jumbled threads at the back is only half of the story. They are necessary to reveal something beautiful.
This is the same with our lives. Those tears, those disappointments, missed opportunities, broken promises, all mixed with our times of laughter, new opportunities, friendship, love, hope, courage etc, these make our life tapestry. Together they reveal something special.
My beautiful Dad passed away this year but he left me with so many legacies. One was the love of music. He used to sing a simple Gospel chorus which has stayed with me since I was a little girl;
“Something beautiful, something good,
All my confusion, He understood, All I had to offer Him, was brokenness and strife, But He made something beautiful of my life”Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Gloria Gaither / Willam J. Gaither
Something Beautiful lyrics © O/B/O Apra Amcos
Our lives are beautiful. They might be messy and complex at the moment, but they are in the process of revealing something beautiful, something good, as we grow and sew our unique tapestry of life through varying experiences.
I love this quote from Martin Luther King Jnr;
Martin Luther King Jnr
“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, you just have to take the first step”
That’s it! I just need to step into the 1st January 2022 and take each day one at a time, step by step.
It’s all any of us need to do. Step with confidence into the New Year, knowing all the messy threads, thrown together as the backbone of our life’s tapestry, will reveal a complete picture. A picture which will eventually make sense of the chaos and calm periods of the year ahead.
I believe God is ultimately in control of my life. I don’t believe He causes difficult things to happen to me but I do know, by faith, He gives me the strength, resolve and ability, to deal with the good, the bad and the downright awful.
It is an uncertain New Year but every New year is. Despite the uncertainties I still want it to be a year filled with purpose, filled with love and joy, filled with strength to deal with the difficult times, filled with hope when things seem hopeless.
Looking Back And Ingniting Hope
This year my blog turns seven and my online support forum will be turning five on the 14th January.
Just before I started both of these ventures, I had a sense of losing purpose in my life due to my health. As 2017 started, I had been blogging for 2 years and was enjoying it but I wasn’t reaching many people. While I wrote for the love of writing, I also wanted to share my experiences in the hope of helping others with chronic illness.
I couldn’t see anything ahead in 2017 apart from pain, more surgery, pain, repeat.
Three weeks into the year, I had the idea to start an online support forum, Medical Musings With Friends . It was concerning me so many people, on other support forums, had such complex diseases that didn’t fit neatly into the particular box that these other forums needed ticking. I had an overwhelming sense chronically ill people needed a broader outlet, where they could share as much or as little as they liked.
I started the forum on the 14th January 2017 and a week later, The Mighty published my first article. I nearly didn’t submit the article because I felt I would be wasting my time. I felt my writing wasn’t good enough. In fact the first submission didn’t work as they had a system failure and I received an email, 3 weeks after I’d forwarded my first article, saying all articles submitted during certain dates must be resubmitted.
I again thought there was little point and was about to delete the email when I suddenly felt, “oh just do it…you’ve got nothing to lose”.
The article was published the next day and resulted in over 1000 likes and countless people reading it and finding both my blog and forum.
The rest as they say is history.
The Purpose Of The Story
My purpose for recounting this story, is so often when I’ve been at the end of my resources and I’ve felt like there is nothing more to life but the painful circumstances I’ve found myself in….so often this is the moment when amazing things, things beyond my wildest dreams, are about to happen.
In 2017, I just needed to be prepared to take a couple of steps….start the forum in faith, believing others would join, and not be afraid to submit an article for publication. Those two actions turned future years into purposeful and exciting days, weeks and months.
If you’re sitting at home as New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day approaches, feeling like you can’t see ahead, don’t lose hope. You are not alone. Chronic Illness can feel all encompassing and does place huge limitations on our lives.
It doesn’t have to make us a prisoner though. We do this to ourselves if we only dwell on what we can’t do, rather than what we can do.
Chronic illness is a part of our life, it’s not all of our lives.
Opportunities can present from the flicker of a quiet thought. Listen to your heart. Listen to those thoughts you think might be challenging you. Life can be exciting and amazing, even from the confines of your home.
Don’t be afraid to explore your ideas, even if you are scared and uncertain. The ideas which cause you to feel a little nervous and excited are often the ones worth pursuing. It means they are important to you.
The details, the plans, the hopes, dreams, twists and turns will reveal our 2022 life tapestry as we go.
See where they lead. You may be wonderfully surprised.
You don’t have to see the whole tapestry, you just have to make the first stitch!Sam Moss December 2021
Happy New Year!
If you’re looking for genuine support, care, understanding and friendship, you are so welcome to join my closed Facebook support forum, Medical Musings with Friends . It’s a safe place to connect with others living with chronic and complex diseases, who truly understand the daily challenges. A warm welcome awaits.
I’m also a Contributor at “The Mighty”. You can check out my published articles at My Author Page
If you would like to read a little more about my journey, here’s the link to My Story