I’m sure that some of you have heard this idea from the internet of choosing one word for your new year.
I’ve never been especially interested in resolutions, mainly because I can not keep them to save my life. One word…that I can do. I have no idea where the idea originated, but a few years ago it nestled itself into my life and I like it.
It’s simple. I mean really…one word. Not four words, not a whole Bible verse even, one word. It’s doable. The irony is that nothing really needed to be done with this idea. I like that I’m not accosted by guilt at unfulfilled resolutions and broken promises. I pick a word for the year and see where that leads.
I could also make it Jesus-oriented. I’m sure people have one word for their year and it has nothing to do with faith. But I saw it as this giant opportunity to open myself up to God speaking into my life in a new way. It could be something fresh for growing my Faith. It also allows me to sit back and wait on Him, and see what He’s up to in places I may not otherwise.
Here are my one word choices over the last 4 years.
2013 – brave
2014 – silent
2015 – grace upon grace
This year’s word:
(Um, so maybe I’m not great at one word. Two is ok, right? Three? I get to make up my own rules, so it’s fine. )
Almost every year God has spoken the word for each year into my heart during the quiet of Christmas Eve candle light service. As my husband starts to read John 1, God begins to speak in the stillness. Opening the Word will do that. We see Him most clearly there. More clearly there than anywhere else. It’s a promise.
That first year I had heard the idea and kept asking myself questions, “What do I want for the coming year? What needs to change in our lives? Where is God speaking to me?” Sitting quietly in candlelight, I remember my confirmation verse rising up in my heart over and over again, John 3:30:
He must become greater, I must become less.
Less…I needed less. Less stuff, less opinions, less expectations, less demands, less frustration, less hurt, less tears, less getting in the way of God’s work in my life, less selfish ambition.
The process this year feels freakishly similar. I need more Him, but this time, less others.
I want to stop fearing what people think of me, being kind and tender-hearted, but invested and speaking meaningful things, even if I get it wrong. Fearlessly wrong.
I spent the last year soaking in grace upon grace. I saw how God has wrapped my life and all of me up in His grace that pours out and then pours out some more. I watched Him put more grace in my home, more grace in my heart. I was so grateful to see clearly, as I studied the Word that year, how truly filling God’s grace was in my life.
Now, it was time to be ok with being wrong. To believe in grace in a way that meant wrong for a moment was ok. It wouldn’t harm me. That God was in my wrong, just as much as he was in my being right, saying the right thing, making the right decision.
God’s grace allows me to unwind the cords of “right” that I have tangled myself in that keep me from good relationships, Gospel sized risks, and the fullest experience of His mercy and forgiveness.
Although I treasure godly, I am beginning to understand just how much grace there is in imperfection, in trying, but being ok with messing up.
It’s really cool to see God’s work in this. So far my year has brought employment changes, new endeavors, family adventures, health concerns for those I love, and deeper relationships at every turn.
What does fearlessly wrong look like in your life? How could God be working in the places where you let imperfect be beautiful and grace be what reigns?
It’s scary for sure. Don’t worry, I’m not running around wild, embracing sin, but being willing to put yourself out there, to say the wrong thing, to do the wrong thing, it changes the shape of life. It makes my understanding of grace fuller and leaves me more expectant of grace from God and His people.
Always an adventure, always.
Less, brave, grace, fearlessly wrong. I’ll be watching for His work in your life too.