Sunday, January 1, 2023

What a Year; A Year of Questions

There are years that ask questions and years that answer.” ~Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God.

2022 asked many questions to which I'm still searching for answers.

I think it's good to question because it forces us to dig deeper, become more self-aware, and ultimately become more courageous as we answer those questions. I questioned myself, my circumstances, friendships, and relationships. I even directed some of these questions to  God, which was not an exercise in futility. I was pointed to Him and His word for answers. About answers - they're still showing up. 

I questioned why I had ingrained beliefs, my purpose, and why certain relationships weren't flourishing (this one is hard). Because with relationships I can always make my best effort but the other person has to be willing also. It's in thinking of this aspect of relationships that the question becomes why doesn't this relationship matter to them?

I questioned what exactly was I supposed to be doing? Do I need plans? Is my lack of planning reflected in how my life is currently?

For some odd reason this year, I also spent a lot of time thinking about death and getting old. What is death like? Can I face it peacefully? Will I live to a ripe old age? Is there anything I can do about that?

I questioned how culture dictates and impacts our choices. Culture is a way of doing things for a particular group - but is that way always right? Does it still make sense? Can I do something different? How hard will it be to change the culture? Is it worth it? I questioned why there seems to be such an anti-Black sentiment towards people that look like me.

I also questioned why I felt so lucky; I have been blessed with good friends who keep showing up for me. Somedays, I don't feel worthy of their attention and love, but they hang in there with me. Friends, you know who you are. Thank you. In the same vein, I struggled with a lack of community in my life. My family is enough but sometimes I want more; I need more. I have not cracked the code on belonging.

When I was a young parent my default answer to any question my children asked was "no." It was a no that came from fatigue and fear. When I reevaluated I often landed at "why not" which opened a whole new world for me and them.

Fear is crippling and it prevents me from doing so much. I think God knew that we would be crippled by fear because so many of his comforting words to us begin with "Fear not......" 
Then a lot of this fear is passed down from generation to generation. I want to start passing down "Fear not......" so that my children and successive generations can ask different questions. 

I'm glad that God doesn't have a default answer for any of my questions. I'm glad that I can take my questions to Him and feel heard and seen. I'm learning that life is a balancing act; asking questions forces me to change my perspective to one that is anchored in hope, faith and love. Anything else leaves me bitter. Perspective reminds me that God and all of His attributes are available no matter what I'm dealing with. 

I'll keep asking questions, but I'll also keep believing.

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life; whom should I dread? Psalms 27:1

“Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Don’t let your heart be troubled or fearful." John 14:27

Happy New Year. Fear not.


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  1. Thoughtful and heartfelt post. I hold pain and anxiety inside, and many of the questions you're asking are mine too. I'm troubled by how limitations of my personality hold me back, preventing deep friendships. Food for thought. Thanks for linking.

  2. Nylse, I am so relieved I am not the only one who asks a ton of questions. The Lord in His grace, mercy, and great love for us provides the answers as they are needed. We can trust Him and His Word to faithfully provide wisdom and the guidance we need. "Guide" is my one word for this year, interestingly, and I know He will guide me even as I ask Him questions. Many years ago, 2 Timothy 1:7 was shared with me, and its powerful lesson has not ever left me. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” Whenever I am feel I am overcome with fear, I say it over and over, often out loud, until the fear is replaced by the peace of God. As we go into this new year, may we lean on God to provide answers, guide us, and dispel any fear which seeks to overwhelm us. May He bless you greatly in 2023!

  3. I just want to add a PS :) After reading your post, I turned to read from my devotional. These were the words which I read and want to share and I quote: "God makes it quite clear in His Word that to every human need He has but one answer: His Son Jesus Christ .... It will help us greatly, and save us from much confusion, if we keep constantly before us this fact, that God will answer all our questions in one way only, namely, by showing us more of His Son." (from "A Table in the Wilderness by Watchman Nee)
    May we see more of His Son in 2023!

    1. Joanne, that reminds me of another line in Michael Card's song, Could it Be. "Could it be the only answer that means anything Is You?" Blessings!

  4. I have grappled with so many of the same questions. And I too am so grateful that God welcomes them all. Thank you for writing about this.

  5. It's good to ask questions, especially the hard ones that seem to have no answer. God will answer in His timing, and like you, I still trust in Him even when the answers aren't forthcoming. I'm reminded of a line in a song by Michael Card, called Could it Be? "Could it be that questions tell us more
    Than answers ever do?" Something to ponder. Blessings to you! I'm your neighbor at #InspireMeMonday.

  6. I confess for 95% of my life I thought I was 'color-blind.' Now I understand 'snookered' is more like it. If I'm not actively fighting against racism, I'm part of it. As a Christian, I should be making sure everyone receives fair and equal treatment; feels equally loved and respected; feels as if they have a voice. I might be getting older, but I'm never too old to change!

  7. Nylse, showing up today for you dear friend. I appreciate your raw transparency here. I love This>"a lot of this fear is passed down from generation to generation. I want to start passing down "Fear not......" so that my children and successive generations can ask different questions". You know now that I think about it I think fear is passed down from generation to generation. Pausing to reflect upon your message today dear friend.
    Thank you bunches for sharing this with Sweet Tea & Friends this month.


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