You want to hear something funny? This post, just a title and a sentence, has been sitting in my draft folder since January. Yep, you read that right: January. That's how long it's taken me to actually sit down and write it.
For the past few years, I've been choosing a word for the year. In 2014, it was teachable. I wanted to come to work, to my personal life, to my online world with a teachable spirit, and reminding myself of that in the face of criticism or a moment when I just need to own a mistake was a great perspective shift.
When 2015 started to loom, I decided that my word would be abide. I was trying really hard at the end of 2014 to spend time with Jesus daily and I was in a season where contentment was escaping me (as evidenced by the cry fests that I had to both my mom and AJ about how "we're never going to get married" ha...funny one, God). So abide it was, and when I chose that word in December of 2014, I had no idea the craziness that 2015 would hold, or that I would be ending the year with a different last name.
To be honest, I don't think I embodied my word in 2015. In a lot of ways, I'm not sure that I'm heading out of this year more centered than when I came into it. But at the same time, I do know that I'm closing out this year with a better awareness of the presence of Jesus in my life.
The way I see it, change can take you by surprise, even if you see it coming. This year has been a year of change, both personally and in the life of our church. Since our pastor's accident back in June, we've seen growth and revival coming to our county and congregation. We've watched God orchestrate too many moments and happenings to even count, and as a staff, we've become more and more aware of the way God has worked and moved to carry us through the storm we faced on the evening of June 7th.
When I chose abide as my word for 2015, I didn't know that I'd spend 9 months of this year planning my wedding and then celebrating my brother's marriage as well. I didn't know that so many of my friends would welcome babies into their families this year, and I didn't know what the transition into married life would look like. Now, two months after saying "I do," I'm realizing that abiding looks differently than I expected it to.
Abiding, now, doesn't just mean getting up a little earlier and opening my Bible, or trying to carve out some time to read a book that reminds me of God's goodness. It means saying no to commitments that take away from time spent with my husband. It means encouraging one another to grow in our walks with God and being cheerleaders for one another in all things.
Last year at this time, I thought I knew what this year might hold. I had plans, I had goals, and I had a word. Have I embodied the word abide in the way that I thought I would this year? Most definitely not. But in the process, I've learned so much more about the way that God shows up and surrounds us with His steadfast goodness, in both the hard and the joyful times, and I think in so many ways, that's a greater lesson than I could have ever taught myself through my own striving.
DID YOU HAVE A WORD FOR 2015? WHAT HAS GOD BEEN TEACHING YOU THIS YEAR?