“Three … two … one … Happy New Year!”
Actually, it didn’t even go down like that. The New Year slipped by me like a thief in the night, as I called around the ship looking for our tardy Public Affairs Officer, who was late in returning our midnight New Year’s Deck Log Entry. Belatedly, I noticed the clock and, after a moment’s hesitation about the likely imminent reprimand, pulled the string on my party popper.
Pfft. A brief spark, then nothing; the force hadn’t been enough to make the confetti explode.
Welcome to 2016.
The beginning of New Year’s Day didn’t augur particularly well, either; after a decided lack of well wishes from far-off family and friends, I noticed our Deck Log Entry had been posted Navy-wide; a level of exposure for my writing which I would normally enjoy, but for the minor detail that my name was now attributed to some truly abysmal poetry, courtesy of my fellow collaborator.
I believe this is the moment when, in all movies, I’m supposed to tell of the grand turnaround and how the day became one of riotous joy. But it didn’t. Because we don’t live in technicolor, we live in a world of cruel flukes and loneliness, of mistakes and hurt. But it’s too easy to focus on the negative; too simple to tell the story of 50 weeks of fake smiles and two of real happiness. Life is a portrait of shades and the unexpected, where the small victories somehow carry us from one day to the next.
For example, on this cheerless morning, I also noticed how the spray from the ship caught the sun’s light just so, creating a constant sheen of rainbow off the bow. A beautiful sight, but only if one took the time to really look.
As has been noted time and again, God didn’t promise us an easy life.
He did, however, promise His eternal presence and strength. Jesus promises this in John 14:16–18: “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper [the Comforter, the Holy Spirit] to be with you forever … I will not leave you as orphans.” Matthew 28:20 echoes this sentiment in Jesus’ final words before the ascension: “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” The God of the sparrow, the God of the lilies of the valley and innocent children, will not ever forsake us, no matter the circumstances.
The holidays are a wonderful time for some and one of troubling memories for others; the bright lights, parties, and bubbly atmosphere can frequently remind some of reality’s darker shadows and the absences in our midst. Even as we allow ourselves to grieve, however, we must cling to the promise of a better tomorrow and always — always — look for the rainbows in our today.
About Brett Beeson
Brett Beeson, officially, is an ensign (officer) in the United States Navy, currently attached to DDG54 Curtis Wilbur out of Yokosuka, Japan. She graduated in 2014 from the United States Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science in Arabic and a minor in Spanish. Unofficially, she is the “evil twin” (one of Jory’s twin daughters), that annoying-friend-who-won’t-stop-calling, perpetual questioner, ice cream enthusiast, scribbler, roarer-of-laughter, and eternal student of God’s amazing mysteries. After extensive travel in Morocco and Oman, she has become passionate about furthering her/our understanding of the Middle East and Islam. To enjoy more of Brett’s writing, please visit Randomness with Brett.