What a ride 2013 was! I’ve been agonizing over writing this blog for over a week, but it just seemed an overwhelming task to sum up such a year.
Personally, 2013 was a year marked by intense spiritual conflict, feeling like I didn’t belong in the Christian community, and I didn’t understand other Christians. I judged God on the actions of His followers. I questioned the goodness and even the reality of God. I lost my faith and temporarily declared myself an atheist.
2013 was a year that the love and acceptance of my husband was tested. Through all my internal conflict, we had none. He loved and accepted me unconditionally despite his confusion, strengthening and deepening our love and commitment to each other.
It was a year of studying and reading, rediscovering my love and respect for philosophy.
It was the year when I lost my father. He was an amazing father who loved his family unconditionally, always made us laugh, and taught me to accept people and to forgive easily. He was slow to anger and gentle.
It was the year I learned that I really did believe in God and love Him, and that no matter how believers act, He never changes and never stops being good or loving.
It was the year I learned that all Christians are different and face this life with their own prejudices and issues, and that some Christians did accept me, even though I’m not typical.
2013 was also the year I determined that I would publish my novel. Several months were taken up with the toil and pressure of formatting and editing it for publication. Then I faced the horrific task of marketing it and myself, with which I am utterly uncomfortable. Every time I post a link to my book, I feel like I am either begging for alms or bragging of my accomplishment. Unfortunately, I understand that the only way to realize my dream of someday writing as a profession is to do this. However, it did lead me to create this blog, which has become a true joy to me in itself. Disturbing the Universe has quickly emerged as a place for me to let loose the pressure of my thoughts in the best way I know how, the written word, and it has abandoned all pretense of existing as a page to promote my novel.
This year also brought the terrifying news that my unborn grandson had Spina Bifida. But with that, it also brought into the forefront, the unrelenting love and faith of my daughter-in-law and son. And when my grandson was born almost 3 months too soon, it brought the indescribable thankfulness of his healthy birth. Seeing the miracle of his tiny life and his ferocious determination to live and recover brought about an epiphany in me, the realization that even though I had given my heart back to God, I had held back some of it to protect myself from pain. I continue to realize a new area each day that needs to awaken to become the person who God wants me to be. As 2014 begins, I see this process continuing, and I can’t wait to see my 2014 year-in-review.–Christina Knowles