On the old and the new


I don’t know about you, but 2012 was quite possibly one of the most difficult years of my life. Much of it was of my own making, but the unexpected losses and frequent rejections and utter loneliness of this year felt like having the wind knocked out of me by a swift kick to the gut. On repeat. For the most part, I try to write about the best, the beautiful, the slivers of life that lay tissue thin against the weight of the hard and gut-kicking real. I write these things to remember, to see, to cultivate a spirit of gratitude, and mostly because no one likes a whiner. But, as 2012 takes its final bow, I want to draw close to those of you who know what I mean when I say, if 2013 bears any resemblance to this year, it will take an act of God to get me through it.

Did you have this kind of year? Draw up a chair, come and sit beside me. Let’s talk together and remember all the good crammed into the crevices of the bad. Let’s trace the line of those cracks and remember from whose hand they flow. Let’s remember the bad and give thanks that it didn’t kill us like we thought it would. It may have killed a friendship, a bond, an attitude, a future, a dream, or our flesh, but it didn’t kill our hope. We wake up in the morning to the same ugly, but always with the drumbeat of hope banging around in our chest.

I don’t make new year’s resolutions, but in 2012  I chose Bloom as my word for the year. This year felt more like a stark winter than a verdant spring, and as I look at the places I hoped to grow, I see a few tiny buds that managed to survive what felt like a gigantic pruning. The pruning is necessary for growth, but dear Lord, it hurts and I sometimes wonder if I live in a stage of perpetual cutting back. I don’t have a word for 2013 yet, and frankly, I am afraid to choose one.

Perhaps I will let the word choose me.

For all of you who struggled this year with loss or pain, for those of you who failed miserably and continue to mop up the mess, for those who feel alone and rejected, for those who lie down at night and pray morning doesn’t come, know this–the sun will rise on you another day. Hope will beat its ancient heart rhythm in your chest. You will trace the cracks of goodness and mercy running down the fault lines of your soul.  You will be pruned and you will bloom, and I will stand right beside you with my clipped branches and the promise of Spring running through my veins.

Happy New Year, friends. May it be blessed beyond measure, overflowing with hope, and a heck of a lot better than this one.



  • I LOVED this Kimberly! The honesty and authenticity… 2012 was one of the hardest for me too – yet I am a glass half full kind of girl, and the promise of Spring runs through my veins as well! My Word for last year was Releasing – and oh how it was true – good and bad. This year? Well – the Word I have caught glimpse of is not what I expected… and I’m not sure what to think of it… I think it chose me, but I am pondering it a bit more before I completely own it! Happy New Year, my friend! Here’s to a Better 2013!

    • KimberlyCoyle

      Can’t wait to read about your word…

  • anjuli paschall

    i read that line a dozen times, “you will trace the cracks of goodness and mercy running down the fault lines of your soul.” so beautiful. thank you. and i’m confident that the word for 2013 will find you. blessings.

    • KimberlyCoyle

      Thanks for the encouragement:)

  • Ally Bean

    Hi! I’m de-lurkiing to say that I, too, had the same sort of year as you did. Your description of your defeats & realities resonates with me. I agree with anjuli paschal that your one line is profound and beautiful.

    [And what I think is most interesting is that my word of the year was Nurture– as in grow and tend to things. It is so similar to your idea of Bloom. Kind of trippy, eh?]

    • KimberlyCoyle

      Thanks for de-lurking, Ally. Nurture, I love the warmth of that word.

  • Lauren Biard

    Beautiful. I appreciate this description, “the best, the beautiful, the slivers of life that lay tissue thin against the weight of the hard and gut-kicking real.” You are clearly gifted with the written word. I too had a difficult year and am hoping for less adventure and change in 2013.

    • KimberlyCoyle

      Less change in 2013! Sounds like a campaign slogan for a good year;)

  • krysia

    My sisters name is Kimberly (so I love your name!) I live in Atlanta and enjoy reading your blog so much. I like that your posts are not too long….they are just enough to start my day. I love the pictures you take too! I have wanted to start my own blog ( I have had the page and the intro. written for a long time) I also run. I did my first half marathon with a friend from high school last year. I only agreed to it because it was a flat course. Now we are doing the rock and roll half in Nashville this year. It is supposed to be really hilly so I am a little worried! I hope to get in better shape this year, learn to say no, and follow through with some of my hopes and dreams. Being a wife, mom, and teacher kind off takes it out of me! Thank you for blessing me with your words and for sharing your heart. You have made a difference in my life this past year!! Love and Thanks,

    • KimberlyCoyle

      Thanks for sharing your hopes for the New Year with me, Krysia. And thanks too for your kind words. I so appreciate you coming back to read more. Good luck in the Nashville half. From personal experience, I can tell you it’s best to train on hills if you’re planning to race them:) I’d love to see your blog if you get it up and running.

  • Kimberly,
    I guess in reality without acts of God we will not get through another year. As one who sorrows with hope I hope we can make the most of the daily grind. That in the grinding good springs forth and we are encouraged to stay the course; knowing full well that any other course may not seem as rough but will lead to fatal destruction if we choose to abandon what we know we must do. Life is sandpaper on my soul at times and I wonder and ask why alot even if I know He who holds it all together is holding it all together.
    May your new year lead to blooming and fruit. May you see it in the small and in the large; in the private and the public; in the rough and the smooth; in your darkest day and your brightest dawn.

  • Kimberly,
    On a lighter note I laughed out loud when I read this line even knowing full well what you meant I still laughed as I thought “I wonder if her husband has seen this?” 🙂 “We wake up in the morning to the same ugly”

    • KimberlyCoyle

      Thanks for the smile:)

  • Kimberly, this post has been on my screen since the day you posted it. I’ve only been able to read it a paragraph at a time. It’s too close. Too real. I’ve had that kind of year. Two actually. Finally coming out of the dark. Would love to swap stories. My One Word is Believe. Need to so much more, more often.

    • KimberlyCoyle

      Thank you so much for your comment, Tammy. The darkness feels so heavy at times, it’s hard to see the Light. Praying for you, for Light, for belief to sink down into the very marrow of your bones. I’m believing with you.

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