The Ghosts of Christmas Past

I go to, what I would refer to as, a very non-traditional church. We don't have a lot of standing traditions, but one of my favorites is our end-of-the year prayer cards. We fill out 3x5 cards (usually on the last Sunday of the year) with our prayers and hopes for the coming year. They are collected, stored away, and then sent back to us in December of that coming year for reflection.

The last couple years ... I've been broken and empty. A lot of things had stolen away my hope and I had nothing left. So, these cards became more and more difficult to fill out. When I got my card back this December, it said, "Read, 'A Note to my Future Self" from December 2009." And I remembered the journal entry I'd typed late one night last December. It took me two days to locate it as I didn't remember where I stored it, but I finally found it.

I want to share it here (at least in part), because I've reclaimed love and hope this year, and I'm ready to let that grow. Thanks to all of those who've started or shared in the healing process. I love you far more than you will ever know.

December 2009
Dear "Future" Self~
I'm doing something a little different this year.  I'm not making a list of things I want or hope to see happen in the 2010. 
For my card in 2009, I made a list of relationships that I wanted to see restored. I know what I was thinking last year at this time: That I'd strained so many relationships in 2008 and I was looking for 2009 to be a year of reconciliation and healing of those relationships.
Funny thing, 2009 was more a year of Reconstruction, but not Reconciliation.  And before the reconstruction, apparently, I needed to tear apart all that I knew before to make way for the new. I've been through a year of hell as far as relationships go, and I'm still dealing with the fall~out from that. I read the card for 2009 with a heart that's broken and bleeding.  Of those listed relationships, all but one or two (as well as many others) have been strained ~ some to the point of breaking ~ possibly beyond repair. This card is nothing more than a mere reminder of all I've lost over the past year.
I won't do it for 2010.  Not like that at least. I won't ask for anything specific, except to have some healing of my heart this year and to know love more deeply and more fully.  Even that feels a bit like tempting fate, though, and I had to hesitate to write it. I'm beaten by 2009. I'm bruised. I'm lonely. I'm tired. I'm confused. I'm hurt. I'm frustrated. I'm angry. But in all of it, I am loved.  I know this because, with all the pain this year, came love.  Lest I forget it, THAT is the reminder I want to have this time next year.
So to myself at the close of 2010: know you are loved, even by people who can't say it because of time, space, or just an inability to speak the things they feel.  You are loved. You are beautiful. You are better now than you were then, even if you don't feel it.
Always in Love,