Epiphany: A Letter to January

Epiphany: A Letter to January


You are the beginning, the brand new one, the fresh start.

You are the reminder that He makes all things new. I can feel it, the turning over, the closing of doors.

There are too many metaphors.

January, I’ve seen you before. Yet, even you, He makes new.

You are a revolving door, allowing us to walk through, to exit as we wish. You are a pausing, when the past and future coexist.

You, January, I’ve greeted loudly with friends, and quietly at home, and once while dancing in the rain at Walt Disney World.

Anniversaries are good for memories, but they never tell the whole story.

January 6 2004: the day my grandfather died in my home. He was lying in bed next to his only love, my grandma, when he spoke his last conversation: “I feel funny.” “What do you mean you feel funny?” “I don’t know. I just feel funny.”

Then his heart gave out and my grandma started screaming his name: “RUSSEL!” I was watching The Wedding Singer in the living room. My parents ran down the hallway then called the paramedics who jolted my grandfather’s chest while I sat on the couch, holding hands with my grandma.

At my grandfather’s funeral, my brother read a poem called “Epiphany.” He had written it himself. Epiphany: an “aha” moment, or the day the magi met Jesus, and also the day my grandfather met Jesus.

January 2011: my first whole month of motherhood. It’s blurry. I was unprepared, jumping in without a thought of what it meant to be a mother.

I knew not that child in my arms, except that he was helpless, and in that way I knew him fully.

January, I see you. I see your newness. I breathe anticipation. I think of all the things I want to do and be and how I am incapable. I think how every year I live another, and so do many other persons, but not everyone.

January, I see your revolving door, how things look new right now because Christmas has just ended and the new year is coming. We are making resolutions. We are planning how to do better.

But we cannot do better. This year is not fresh. Perhaps we will improve in some things by way of practice, but it is not due to you, January.

We are all the same humans and cannot be made new by the turning of a calendar page or the progression of seasons. We are made new by way of forgiveness and mercy.

Not by works, but by the unfailing love of our God, are we brought from memories to unknowns, a helpless epiphany.

Photo by Jess Bailey on Unsplash

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