I am not one for New Years Resolutions. I am famous for not keeping them, but one thing I have done for several years now is pick one word to guide and encourage me throughout the year. Choosing one word has provided me with clarity in the big dreams I have for life. The word centers around my character and creates a vision for the year.
Last year I clung to the word 'hope' and even now as I look back at 2016, I know I felt hopeless a lot of the time, but having picked the word 'hope' spurred me on. I think I expected the year to be easier than 2015. You'd think it would be. I went into 2016 filled with so much hope for what was ahead of us, but the year landed up being more difficult than 2015 in many ways. Picking the word 'hope' encouraged me to surround myself with scripture and art that reflected the word 'hope' and reminded me that even in the midst of what felt hopeless (grieving Mikail, miscarriage, change in relationships, disappointments around most corners etc), I have One I can turn to for hope when it seems there is none left.
When looking ahead at 2017 there are a few things that we have set forward to do and these things frighten me ~ in a good way. They bring with them a lot of unknowns and will need a lot of faith and grace and courage as we strive toward the goals we believe God has placed on our hearts. Amidst this all we still bear a lot of pain and grief and have to consciously look to Him for our strength. This too takes courage. So, as I was thinking about my one word for 2017 it soon became abundantly clear that COURAGE was to be it.
When I think of courageous people, I think of their strength and their bravery. Not often do I think that the journey they have been on to get to the point they are at, was probably filled with many uncertainties, fear, and hardships. They have courage because they faced their fears face on. They didn't give up when everything about their situation should have made them give up. They had strength in the face of great pain or grief. This year I need to remember this...that courage isn't easy, but it's worth getting beyond the fears and unknowns and facing all that is ahead. Why? Because through it all God is there with us...wherever we may go.
Do you make resolutions or have a one word for your year?