when your easy year never comes

When I was younger, I used to think that each year would bring the "easy year."  I used to say "we're due for a good year."  Next year things wouldn't be so bad.  Next year things will be fresh and new.  Next year we will be fine.  Next year things will be good.  Next year things will be easy.

I can say with confidence now that the easy year isn't coming.  And while some years will be easier than others, if we live in a community that carries each other's burdens, every year is a hard year.  

Hardships don't quit coming.  

But here's the thing.  Joy and beauty never quit coming either.  They live and breathe and change and grow amongst the other.  The difficult and the easy.  The good and the bad.  The ugly and the beautiful.  Like Glennon Doyle Melton termed, this life is brutiful. 

It's the mother, mourning her first child while growing a new life inside. 

It's the woman, kissing her aged father goodbye just before turning to kiss her first grandchild.

It's the wife betrayed, crying at night but dancing in the morning with her small children.

It's the young woman, saying goodbye to her mother the same year she becomes a mother.

And guys.  I know people.  People who have lived all those things.  And not just one person.  But lots of people.  Lots of people living those exact same dichotomies.  Lots of people living huge beautiful joy-filled moments at the exact time they are living huge ugly-terrible moments.  

I've had my share of ugly moments this year.  But strangely, somehow, the ugly moments sharpen and clarify the beautiful moments.  The joy I've felt this year has been more poignant, more fresh, more beautiful than all the good moments of the less challenging years.  

I definitely don't understand it.  I don't know why bad makes beautiful more beautiful.  I'm not to the place where I can attribute purpose and meaning to the bad.  I'm so glad that some people can appreciate the bad, because that gives me hope that maybe someday I can too.  Although that day is not today, I'm hoping it will be someday.

My mom used to tell me to always enjoy the good because the bad will come.  So today, I'm enjoying the good, relishing in the sharpness of joy, and continuing on in this terrible, beautiful life.