I told myself I would write this post in January. I didn’t specify when in January. I tend to be very vague with myself when it comes to deadlines, it works well for us. Seeing as how the year is still technically new I’d say the end of January is a perfectly acceptable time to be discussing my OneWord for 2016. I’m going to go ahead and assume that you graciously agree. You’re cool like that.
As I’ve shared with you in the past, every year I prayerfully choose one word as a sort of theme for that year. Some say it’s a silly notion, nothing more than a glorified New Year’s Resolution, but I won’t be swayed by the haters. I’m sold on this one. The whole concept of choosing one word really resonates with me. There’s something truly powerful about being honest enough to take stock of my heart and the direction it’s headed.
After all, the heart can be a terribly unruly thing.
When I’m choosing my word I find myself learning to be quiet and still and unguarded with God. I find myself actually listening for his voice. This practice has been good for me, because I tend to throw a lot of chatter at God.
I use my OneWord as a conversation piece with him. I use it as a filter, a gauge, and a springboard for my attitude and choices- For all those Yes’s and No’s in life that must inevitably be decided.
Last year my word was ROMANCE. I felt God calling me to let go, in a sense, of all my dreams, questions, and fears, and to focus on stepping out into a romance with him. I felt him gently reminding me that I’d had it all backwards for a while. I felt him daring me to trust him with all of those very dreams, questions, and fears that held me at their mercy, and to see what he would do with them.
It’s been a lovely, painful season of both letting go and drawing near. It’s been difficult to understand and hard to grasp all the ways my God loves me. I’ve been surprised to discover that he’s wildly romantic, that he loves lavishly. I’ve been freed and emboldened by the way that love has changed me. It’s been a slow and cautious dance at the first, with me learning how to trust and how to let him lead.
I realized that it was never about how I looked as he spun me across the floor, it was about what was happening right there between us.
This year is very different. Instead of letting go, I feel God telling me to hold on. As if he’s winked and whispered, “The dance floor is ours. Hold on to me and let’s go.”
This year my word is YES.
I want to say Yes to the things God is putting in front of me. All of the scary, new, uncomfortable, things. All of the delightful, small, meaningful things. All the new relationships that require care and effort and truth. All of the bigger-than-I’d-imagined- things. All of the smaller-than-I’d-imagined-things. All of the things that I’d normally ignore, dismiss, or say no to out of fear.
I wonder how many opportunities I’ve missed, how many treasures I’ve overlooked, how many missteps I’ve made because I’ve not even looked up to see what he put right in front of me?
I understand that every Yes requires five other No’s. I know I can’t tackle every single thing that comes my way or I’ll run myself ragged. I know I’ll need to listen to my gut and to God and to have the gumption to follow both. I’ll need discernment as I choose my Yes’s and my No’s carefully.
But mostly I just want to be open. I want to quit trying to write my own story. That story is comfortable and easy and dull. I want to say YES to the story that God is writing for me because I know that he doesn’t write boring stories. I want to show up and participate in that version of the story- even though it requires more from me. Even when it scares me. Even when it seems like a mystery. Even when I don’t know how I’ll do it.
I want to open my eyes to the possibility of God’s plan. I want to see it, recognize it, and say YES to the fullness and the risk and the wildness of it all. I want to take the next step without memorizing it first. I want to trust him as he leads me to unexpected places.