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Dear 2023

Dear 2023,

My brain is foggy with the effects of a (non-COVID) virus today. Pressure and discomfort are shielding me a little from the emotions of reflection and hope.

I began 2022 holding the weight of decisions made but not yet shared. Began with pain, grief, anger, and fear. It was the year of one big change and then...nothing.

Or what felt like nothing because so many external things have remained the same. The movement instead being made slowly and internally. Or at least I hope that is true. It is hard to tell when new pain, grief, anger, and fear weighs on my heart.

My hopes for you, this new year, are in many ways the unfullfilled private hopes of 2020, 2021, and 2022. If I am honest, I have grown weary of holding them. I find myself carried forward by the hopes, assurances, and affirmations of others more and more.

You will begin (provided I recover quickly from this pesky cold) with another major change. This one literally internal. It is a choice that makes sense but still requires space and time to grieve the loss of possibility. I am choosing to not be a biological parent, despite my desire for children to love. I know myself, my mind, my body, and my health well enough to know pregnancy is not a viable path for me. And so I am electing to have surgery to remove my ovarian tubes now when I won't have to juggle work and recovery. I am trusting that I will find other ways to love and support the next generations.

Beyond mid January, you are more foggy than my congested head. I miss the predictable rhythms of life in ministry and hope you will bring them back to me. Other dreams I have for you feel too fragile to share.

Except one general hope I hold for you - that I might nurture and be nurtured by community. Those who are already present in my life and those I will meet in the days to come. I pray for opportunities to be part of systems of care. And I pray for the courage and vulnerability to accept care when offered (not just when needed!).

Waiting less than patiently for your unfolding,


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