I have my word. And it is an uncomfortable word. It is a word that can lead to some serious heartache, and well, just feeling really vulnerable.
I hate feeling vulnerable.
I like safe and secure and protected far more.
In fact, there is a little story to my Word of the Year that I need to tell you before I tell you what my word is.
I was reading Virtuous Woman Exposed’s post about blessings, and I thought, after all my battles and struggles and whatever else, I am ready to be blessed. And so I thought that the word “blessed” would be my word for 2016. But, I felt this little niggle at the back of my mind that I wanted this more for me, than for being closer to God, or growing in Godliness or anything else. In other words, I was being selfish. I am still hoping that God will deem it fit and according to His will to bless me and my family abundantly, but that is God’s prerogative. It is not mine.
So, it is with much trepidation that I announce to you my word for 2016.
The reason that I know that this is my word, is that God has taken me on a long journey to see the walls, to acknowledge the walls, to change my thinking – and now it is time to break down the walls and let God and my husband in.
Lisa Hall-Wilson’s post on her word for the year really spoke to me. I, too, have this ghost that follows me everywhere, and there are days, sometimes even weeks or months, that I can forget that its there. And then, suddenly, out of the blue – it’s there. And I know that I withdraw, I hide myself away – I’m scared that if God and my husband truly looked at what was there, they wouldn’t like what they saw. Another lie straight from the devil. He is the father of all lies.
But if all of life is a story, then a new year should bring a new chapter. Yes? I usually pick a new focus word each year — a trait or a character improvement I want to make. This year I couldn’t think of one. Nothing came to mind.
See, the ghost thrives in isolation, in pushing people away, in fear and shame. Instead, I felt this persistent call to intimacy. Greater intimacy with God. Drawing close instead of withdrawing from friends, from community, from those close to me.
This won’t happen overnight and it won’t change my personality. I am still an introvert that requires a lot of time alone and I will still avoid large gatherings (and probably many smaller ones too). But a week into my search for intimacy (with God and those close to me) has brought a good measure of peace. Lisa Hall-Wilson
18 There is no fear in love [dread does not exist]. But perfect (complete, full-grown) love drives out fear, because fear involves [the expectation of divine] punishment, so the one who is afraid [of God’s judgment] is not perfected in love [has not grown into a sufficient understanding of God’s love].
Perfect love – I have come to understand – is being perfectly intimate with God, and knowing that He loves you no matter what. There is no shame, fear, or guilt in perfect love, but only acceptance and grace and forgiveness.
So, this is my word for 2016. I am nervous about this word. It will mean a lot of change within me this year. I don’t know if I can do this…
But, by the grace of God, go I…