Saturday, December 31, 2011


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?


  1. Angela,

    I just finished reading Matthew 14 and then read your blog. The passage where Peter walked on the stormy sea to Jesus and when he got scared by looking at the churning waves beneath him and started to sink, he cried out and Jesus grabbed him and raised him up. I love the words of Jesus to him... "Faint-theart, what got into you?"

    This is a beautiful post. Thank you for giving so from your heart. Josh Groban's song so fitting! My word for 2012... RESILIENCE! Within that word for me lies trust and kindness--my action words.

    I pray 2012 is full of surprises of joy for you!

  2. this is the perfect word for you sweet friend. those waves are raging and threatening to drown but {in the words of david crowder band} 'risk the ocean, it's only grace.' stand as the waves, beat and batter they may, lavish grace from head to foot.

    love you.

  3. Val, I love your word. Resilience is a sister-cousin to STAND, no? Maybe we'll meet on a shoreline and I'll raise my hand high in the air and remind you that you can do it; we can do it! Happy New Year!

    Lauren, "lavish grace from head to foot" is a beautiful picture to hold onto when all I feel is soggy and senseless. Thank you. Your words are like poetry. I love to read them.

  4. What a glorious word-- STAND! Not only is there conviction and strength in staying on your feet, in standing strong... there is also such beauty and perseverance in the ability stand back up. :) Happy New Year! (My word? Authentic.)

  5. Yes. This is my word. Stand.

    2011 was emotionally hard for me. I was abandoned by and left behind women who had been my friends for 15 years. Through accusations, betrayal and misunderstanding. Some refused to be friends with me anymore and others I left behind so that I could rebuild myself and move forward. Even someone I counted as very close to me; I was there when her last child was born and she stood up for me at my wedding, cut me out of her life, and I cut her out of mine.

    It's been a very painful journey, yet these are not people I want back in my life. My heart is too broken to persist in making amends. They won't hear me and they don't want me.

    So now, I make a way, a new way. I'm lonely and hurt and battered and emotionally fragile. But I want to move on. I believe there are healthier friendships ahead of me. Friendships that don't require I be less than I am or that I explain my motives only to not be heard.

    So, I stand firm in knowing there is something better for me.

  6. JessieLeigh, I love your word. We need more authenticity in 2012.

    Montana Wildflower, there IS something better ahead for you. I know it because I have walked through what you have described. I am on the other side now and I am in a community of loving women who get me and love me. It was a long time coming, but worth the wait.