Last year, I saw in the new year from my bed in Lauder House in Edinburgh, unable to sleep because of the fireworks going off over the castle.
This year, we will see in the new year from a rooftop in Nazareth, watching fireworks erupt throughout the city.
Last year I hoped for year rich with colour, and it has certainly been that. Lots of colour. Some tinged with darkness. Some bright and beautiful. A lot that held together both.
I feel blessed beyond words to be here. So instead of words, here are a few pictures:
If I could choose one photo to sum up the past year, this would be it. It’s taken from one of the windows at the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth. I love the colours, the contrast, the shadows, the irregular, imperfect pieces which give it its interest and beauty. I love that the cross is at the centre of it but is surrounded by gentler shapes and bright sunlit reds and oranges.
This year has been one of overwhelming, humbling love — given and received. My heart nearly burst with love when I left Old Saint Paul’s, and then again when we were welcomed so warmly into our new post and our new home.
It has been a year of sacrifices. I’ve never been one to take an easy path, as my parents reminded me when we said goodbye at the airport. And there was one point where Justin and I were presented with a safe option and chose instead to hold hands, close our eyes, and take a leap of faith. Neither of us regret that decision, but it came with costs.
And it has been a year in which my ministry has expanded beyond anything I ever could have imagined, and yet I can’t imagine ministering anywhere but where I am. It’s imperfectly shaped and mottled. It’s tinged with the darkness of regrets and mistakes. It’s red with passion and energy, which burns hot in the face of injustices. But it also holds the cooling blue and rich purple of prayer, maybe at the side, maybe not where many might notice, but which provides the balance I need.
I have no idea what the next year might hold. But I am where I am meant to be. And that’s what’s important just now.
Happy New Year, my dearest ones. May it be filled with joy and blessing and love and rich colours.