Our First New Year’s Eve and Who Messed it Up

When Neil and I first met, he ran a restaurant called The Bone. Not only did it have great food, it was one of the few places in our town where you could hear live music. There was a huge party there the night of our first New Year’s Eve. The tables were full, the bar was three people deep, live music blared and people danced as the countdown to midnight closed in.

Shortly before twelve, Neil found me in the crowd. He was working, but he wanted me to stay put so he would know right where I was to come kiss me at midnight. So sweet, I thought, as I watched him move back into the crowd. Every square foot of the restaurant was filled with people celebrating, and for a few minutes I was distracted taking it all in.

At two minutes to twelve, I scanned the crowd looking for Neil. He was literally on the exact opposite side of the room, surrounded by a thick rim of people. Neil was one of the most social people I have ever known, and he never met a stranger. As he laughed and joked with his customers, I realized it was going to be impossible for him to escape and make his way back to me in the next “ 59, 58, 57, 56″ seconds.


As the crowd counted around me, I left my post and darted between people to the other side of the room. Pushing them out of my way, I ended up right where Neil had been, and for a second, couldn’t find him anywhere.

With a sinking feeling, I looked back to my assigned spot. Sure enough, there he was looking at me, shaking his head with a smile. Our kiss happened about a minute after midnight, but the crowd was still throwing confetti and cheering around us. Neil laughed that he had devised a perfect route to get back to me in the seconds before midnight for our kiss, but by trying to take control I messed it all up. I didn’t trust anyone but myself, and in true “Colleen fashion,” I thought I knew better.

I am sure that night was only one of many times I thought I knew best and missed out on something better than I envisioned. Even now, as I try to figure out where my life is going and what God is calling me to be, I need to remember I don’t have to go searching for Him; He knows right where I am. I can trust that He has a plan for me and my life, and if I relax and let it happen, I just might not mess it up!


  1. What insight! As you approach the first anniversary of Neil receiving his wings of
    gold, know that there are many that continue by your side during this journey.

  2. My learning curve in this area is so difficult now. Thank you for sharing your travels with me. Acting on my belief that control is an illusion is an on-going struggle for me.
    Wishing you a happy and fulfilling New Year!

  3. If I would only “Let Go and Let God,” I, too, would not mess up so much. He is the only one who has it all under control. Now, I just need to focus on trying harder to get myself under that oh, so hard to achieve…control. As always, Colleen, thank you for sharing. You bring so much to us who have become a part of your journey.

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