For you surely have a future ahead of you; your hope will not be disappointed. ~Proverbs 23:18

If a cat lives nine lives, then she lives one hundred:

The little girl that enters life with matted hair trailing down the back of her tattered dress,

a teddy bear nestled in the crook of her arm. The soiled fur she leaves in the hollow of a tree during the day and clutches tight in the darkness of fear hovering on the inside of her soul.

She walks under the canopy of trees that wave tall like uncles watching protective;

quivers to grasp the large, sturdy hand of the one beside her along the narrow path of the unknown.

She sees only the hand and it is all she knows, and she trusts where it leads her.

Trusts the fingers indented deep with lines of sorrow, the scars the size of nail heads in each palm.  They are rough and steady and gentle and secure and brand new,

But they guide her long to a bright clearing on the side of a hill prepared for her arrival into the world.

She gets lost in the beauty of the grassy knoll and the white woolly lambs that graze unaware of her presence at the edge of the forest.

And when she looks back at the hand that leads her, she sees more:

A beating heart of flesh above the hand, the rhythm of which echoes her own.

When she lets go of the hand to walk into the light that draws her like magnet to iron, she knows he stands watching, always watching her enter hope.

Just over the hill, like an unexpected gift,

People like pebbles on the seashore as far as the horizon to welcome her, accept her, love her and that tattered dress, that matted hair, that soiled teddy bear,

They vanish and she runs toward the people waiting in radiant gladness, the stride of which transforms.

And when she gets closer, she recognizes the hands that led her along that narrow, tired road, outstretched in expectant embrace, waiting among the people.

He led them there for her.

To welcome her into the newness.

When she embraces him, she looks into his eyes;

Windows to the soul that reveal the beauty of her redemption.

She isn’t sure where the journey leads from here, just that He will lead her into a new year of goodness the way He always has.

O Lord you alone are my hope, I’ve trusted you, O Lord, from childhood, Yes, you have been with me from birth; from my mother’s womb you have cared for me. No wonder I am always praising you! Psalm 71:5

Prayers for the Happiest New Year my friends!

Linking with Deidra @ Jumping Tandem, Shanda @Pause on the Path, Katie @ Katie Lloyd Photography, Barbie @ My Freshly Brewed Life