A little late to the game, writing about my word of the year on January 14, am I right?
Well. Consider this an exercise in putting my word into practice.
You might not define blogging about a New Year’s resolution-y concept two weeks into the year as brave per say—maybe procrastination would be a more appropriate word, eh Rebekah?—but baby steps, people. I’m here at least. Thanks for giving me grace.
Every January I observe friends, churches, bloggers, instagrammers doing this thing—choosing that one word they want to define the year ahead. Sometimes the really organized ones announce their words in December, just to get a jump start, because come January the internet is going to be sick of reading these posts. Sorry, internet. Here’s another.
I have never been one who makes decisions easily (save for lifelong ones like choosing to follow Jesus or saying yes when my husband asked for my hand), so the thought of selecting one little word that I’m supposed to embrace and weave throughout my life for a year? Bah. No thanks. I have a hard enough time deciding what color to paint my toenails or what to fix for dinner. Order for dinner. Whatever.
I have enjoyed seeing what words other people choose and how they implement them, though. Last year I followed one friend’s journey with her word, no (such wisdom there), and read along as another friend explored what living free looked like for her. I loved reading about what they did with their words and how their choices impacted their lives and the people around them. But I never and I mean never follow through on resolutions. How can I commit to something for a year with life’s ever-changing seasons? Moving, switching jobs, having babies. Life is too unpredictable, and I loathe the feeling of letting myself down by not being able to follow through on something I’ve committed to.
But then one night a couple of weeks ago as I tried to fall asleep, God did as He always does. He made it clear to me that no, I didn’t have to choose a word if I didn’t want to—because He was giving me one whether I liked it or not.
Not two days later, a friend asked via group text if any of us had done this “word of the year” thing. One by one we all began replying with our words, and I was filled with optimism about what this year could hold for each of these women. Kindness. Focus. Present. Discipline.
My friend Lindsey wrote a fabulously helpful post for people wondering, I picked a word… Now what do I do with it? One of the things she’s done with her word of the year is to have a little brainstorming session and map it out on paper. (You had me at “This is pretty nerdy, but…”, Lindsey!) This was messy for me, as I prefer bullet points and this turned into bubbles all over my little section of paper, but as I sat on my bed and just wrote out whatever came to me about the word brave, I could feel God working on me. And as I scribbled (what in the world has happened to my handwriting in the last few years? Good grief), I started getting really, really excited about what could come from being brave this year. Not sky-diving brave (let’s be serious)—brave in being vulnerable when needed. Brave in asking questions instead of faking it. Brave in speaking up. Brave in getting to know people and letting them get to know me. Brave in tapping “publish.” Brave in not letting myself be defined as introvert.
I wrote, in the pink-papered notebook my 7-year-old gave me for Christmas, some things that will try to stop me from telling my story, some things I need to say Yes to, and some things that might be harder than my beginning-of-the-year-optimistic self realizes.
There will be more bubbles and scribbling on my notebook pages in the days to come, and my prayer is that the words God gives me here reflect how He’s shaping my 2016.
He has made me brave.