Friday, January 9, 2009

No Word

For years I have avoided making New Year's resolutions and chosen instead to choose a word or theme. My word would become a guiding thought for the year, often leading me to new insights, deeper intimacy with God, and greater faith.

My word for 2008 was "focus" and each day I would ask the Lord to help my eyes and ears to focus on His plan for my life. I found my gaze being redirected on a regular basis, often times towards wiser or more loving outcomes. I asked myself, in troubled times, where I was focusing, and realized that eyes fixed on myself or my circumstances usually produced anxiety, while eyes fixed on Jesus produced deep peace and satisfaction.

In 2007 my word was "slow," and I memorized Proverbs 19:2, which says, "It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, nor to be hasty and miss the way!" Isn't that a great verse? I used to run a million miles an hour, frequently "missing the way." I loved learning to rejoice when I hit roadblocks or hurdles, recognizing that God was slowing me down to give me knowledge and help me find the way.

In 2006 my word was "decrease," as in John 3:30, "He must become greater, I must become less." That was an awesome word! I practiced UNDERreacting to my boys, speaking less and listening more, and looking for opportunities to get out of God's way. This was the year our house flooded, and let me just say that decreasing became not only easy, but desirable for me.

I could go all of the way back to 1999. Each year, a great adventure with Jesus, as He enlarged my view, deepened my trust, challenged my abilities, and changed my heart.

But as I have waited and pondered a word for 2009, I have simply come up blank. I feel adrift. Chaotic. Undone. And I like it. Perhaps at the end of the year, I will be able to look back and explain in words what God did...or maybe not. Maybe there will be no words. That doesn't mean there will be no growth, it just means that sometimes God works outside of the box--beyond my ability to define or describe. He can do whatever He wants. And I hope He does!

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