Well past midnight, cold blue moon floating in the brand-new year’s dark sky, I tuck the older kids into bed with a kiss, whispering “Happy New Year.” One, who has faced new, painful struggles this past year, asks, wistfully, “Will 2018 be better?” My best answer, which I know won’t soothe: “If you make it better, love; it’s in your hands.” “Well, I guess it won’t be, then,” is the reply. My heart stops a second.
Hands, I think, and am moved by the sudden impulse to lay hands on the soft heads of my children for spontaneous New Year’s blessings. I summon up the powers of motherhood, speak soft and deliberate, “Above all things, may you know deep in your bones that you are Beloved,” among other, more specific incantations spoken over sleepy faces that night, as 2018 dawned. A whispered, “Thank you” followed me, lodging somewhere deep in my heart, as I quietly shut the bedroom door.
I rise to meet this blessing, too. It bubbles out of every corner of this past year, past personal failure, past the other shoe dropping, and the other one, and the other one. The life-giving truth is this: just as I am, I am Beloved. The God of the galaxies names me Beloved. Not when I get it right as a mother or teacher or wife. Right now, a beautiful mess.
Living into the truth of this name is the work of my lifetime, the quest of my heart, and the ministry of every day, as I learn what it means to LIVE beloved. Which means living into my whole authentic self. Accepting and believing in the way God is making me into more of myself. Sitting with the pain of the world, or the pain of my children, or my own pain, and not being undone.
The midnight moment of blessing will fade into dream-memory for my children, but my wish for them will never wilt. Let them always feel the weight of my hands on their heads, the truth of their Belovedness trickling through the skin of their scalps into skull, burrowing deep into pre-frontal cortexes, into wherever-it-is that the soul lives..
No New Year’s resolutions for me. Just living Beloved, day by day.