At the end of 2010, I took time to write out my deepest desires for 2011.
I also chose a word for the new year. A word that summed up everything that I was committed to pursuing and fighting for. The word I chose was Together.
One of my desires at the time was to feel "together" within myself. Not as in, "Yep, I've got it all together," but in the sense of feeling whole and in touch with all of the parts of me that I had not previously accepted or embraced. 2011 has proved to be a year of discovering who I really am, and uncovering many of the false images I have had about myself.
But in the middle of the year, my word also challenged me to my core. In the midst of feeling daunted and confused about the changes that emerged in my life, I heard a whisper in my heart, urging me to adopt a new word for the remainder of 2011: Grace.
I needed to take a step back. I needed to hold on to Grace when everything in my life--instead of feeling together--seemed to be ripping apart at the seams.
I'm thankful for that experience because it takes the pressure off choosing this year's word. I can set my eyes on a course, just like I did in 2010, but I know full well that I may get redirected.
When I think of my word for 2012, I get a picture in my mind.
I have been in one of the hardest seasons of my life. I feel like I've been standing at the edge of a shoreline and these great waves have come one after another. They are fierce, they are intense, and they are unrelenting. Their sheer force have threatened to beat me up and knock me over, but I have remained standing—with my eyes closed and my arms spread out beside me.
I know the waves aren’t going to stop. I am in the midst of a storm, and (unfortunately) I don’t think that storm is going to cease just because I am on the cusp of a new year! So I have decided to take the momentum and strength that I have gained in the last 7 months of GRACE into the year 2012, so I can continue to STAND.
STAND. That's the word.
STAND. (I wanted to write it one more time because every time I have thought about it in the past few weeks I see just as it is written. In big, bold capital letters.)
STAND makes me think of a verse in the Bible. It is found in a passage that describes how there is a cosmic struggle going on in our world (and therefore our lives) every day. Paul, the writer, encourages his friends to gird themselves with spiritual armor and to be aware of the battle that rages on--often unseen.
The verse I am thinking of says this: "Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand." (Ephesians 6:13)
In 2012, I am going to STAND.
I realize that the storm I am faced with may continue to rage, but I am going to stand. I realize that there may be times when I feel battered and bruised, but I am going to stand.
And in the midst of it all, I will lift my eyes to heaven and thank God that though I may be drenched, my feet are planted firmly and I will not be knocked down.
I'm standing. What are you doing in 2012? Have you picked a word?