For the past few years, I have picked a ‘word of the year’. I enjoy doing this in lieu of making New Year’s Resolutions. Choosing a word is more inspirational for me than trying to reform all bad habits at once and stays with me as a helpful reminder throughout the year. It is a fairly popular concept these days, so I am not the only one who does, and it is always fun to share with friends and have conversations about it.
Usually I don’t have a problem picking which word it should be because my birthday is in December and so the holidays are a good time to reflect on my life and goals for the next year.
However, for the two years, my word has become something of a riddle about halfway through the year.
Here’s what I mean:
For 2017, I picked the word ‘consistency’. Consistency is a great thing, right?
During that year, I realized that instead of just being consistent in a few key important things, I was trying to be perfect at everything in my life–and that is pretty exhausting if you’re not God! (The blame probably goes to being a firstborn and an Enneagram Type 3 Achiever.) As fall approached I had some several physical signs of stress manifested in my body, like not being able to sleep, losing my appetite and severe anxiety. I began to spend a lot of time journaling and reading my Bible.
The story of Martha & Mary from the Bible came alive to me as I could totally relate to Martha–the older, more driven, to-do-list-wielding sister–and not understand the need to sit quietly and choose the best thing. I learned not to place my identity in performing perfectly at every task and scenario in which I found myself. God rescued me from the kind of consistency I was thinking of (the more honest word would have been perfection!) As 2017 ended, I was in a different place mentally than I ever have been. I saw God open doors that only he could open and shut doors he could only shut and it grew my faith in a perfect, all-knowing God.
So, what about 2018?
Because of the previous year, and my new passion for editing unnecessary things out of my life, I picked ‘focus’.
I made a more prioritized and balanced Q1+Q2 to-do list. Instead of trying to be perfect at everything, I would be perfect at just a few things. Brilliant.
I began to tackle the year with enthusiasm, thankful for all the lessons I had learned the year before. My mind was in a better place and so was my body. I was drinking water, eating healthy, managing work well and was spending a lot of time with friends and siblings to fill up the cup of joy and fellowship that I would have before neglected to prioritize.
Life was good. I was actually getting a lot done.
I got a book in the mail from an anonymous stranger.
About six weeks later, I met this guy named Drew.
The next day I found out that the stranger and Drew were the same person.
In a matter of six months, we….
…decided to get married
…literally went round the clock with planning and work
…bought furniture for an entire house
…had a lovely wedding with 250 people
…went on a two-week honeymoon
…I moved to live with him in Michigan, four hours away.
Are you smiling yet? I think God is.
My focus got shifted far beyond of the scope of the lens I was looking through.
But oh did I ever get something better than finishing my new website or the other big things on my mental to-do list. I got a wonderful man to spend the rest of my life with.
Are you seeing a trend here?
With all that said, my word for 2019 is ‘trust.’
As I look through my journal, I see so many evidences of God’s faithfulness and provision over the last year. But there’s still so much more room for trusting Him.
I’m looking forward to seeing what this New Year of 2019 brings. This will be the most radically different year of my life in a long time, so there’s plenty of room for me to be challenged and grow. Here’s to embracing the adventure of new roads with Jesus.
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding; In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.”