I don’t even remember what my “word” for 2016 was…it’s been that kind of year.
I do remember that I almost didn’t pick one. That it took me almost a month to decide on one. And even when I did finally choose, I was still a little unsure, a little hesitant.
I didn’t remember, until I just now checked, that I never even wrote about my word here on my blog. I’m not sure that I wrote it down anywhere, but I’m not going to go searching.
In years prior, my word really meant something. I stuck with me throughout the year. It provided a mantra to live and grow by. It was the focus of my write 31 days challenge in October. It was the theme of my year.
Each year past, by the end of December, God was already guiding my heart to the realization of whatever new thing He was about to do in me. And out of those realizations sprung my words.
But this year, I didn’t remember my word. It didn’t stick with me, guiding my heart and lessons. And I didn’t write for 31 days.
2013 my word was Breathe
2014 my word, or rather phrase, was Work Hard, Rest Well
2015 my word was Humble
2016 my word should have been Remember
As I look back on the year past, it is sprinkled full of remembrance.
Remembering lessons I learned in the past and relearning them for my present.
Remembering who I wanted to be as a person and attempting to refocus my life in that direction.
Remembering in the form of rereading a book or passages from books and so desperately needing the reminders.
Remembering how deeply I love my husband and reasserting that love in new ways while heading down the new path our life is on 5 years after “I-do”.
Remembering, or rather, memorizing scripture during the first part of the year. And during the latter half, remembering that I am supposed to be memorizing scripture.
Remembering what is most important and pulling back and back and back until just those things remain. I’m praying that 2017 will grow me solid in those places and allow me to creep back into some other places too.
Remembering that God is good, even when I feel like I’ve now lived years of my life choosing to remember when it doesn’t feel like it.
Remembering that my decision has been made and there is no turning back. I am a Jesus-follower, a Jesus-lover, a Bible-believer, a heaven-bound saint. There is no turning back. Remembering the how and the why of that decision and choosing to remain firm when sometimes all feels doubtful.
Remembering that one lesson I’ve had to relearn a million times…He is enough for me. Jesus and Him alone. He is enough.
Remembering the habits and patterns I’ve worked hard to grow into my life and wondering how they slipped away.
This was year a year of remembering and relearning and revisiting the lessons I thought I had learned, the things I thought I’d moved past. This was a year of humbling myself to relearn, to revisit, to be re-repentant. This was a year of being reminded how desperately I need Jesus to keep refreshing and renewing His work in me each day.
And if I’m honest, most days I’ve fought it. I’ve fought the remembering. I don’t want to step back into the painful lessons of yesterday, no matter how urgently necessary they are for my present. But slowly, tip-toeing at first till I’m brave enough to sprint forward headlong, slowly, I’m going back.
I’m remembering and relearning and renewing my mind for today with the lessons of yesterday.
And I find as I do, that the lessons from then, go so much deeper today. There is so much depth and so much freedom to be found as I review and remember and revisit and relearn. And I ponder again what I’ve often said and often tried to disregard, that this walk with Christ is simply one of learning and relearning the gospel over and over and over again.
I’ll be learning and relearning the gospel of grace until my dying day and each time I accept that fact anew, so much freedom is released inside me.
I didn’t know this was where my year would go. And perhaps it’s good that I forgot my word. Perhaps I needed to learn this lesson unguided. I don’t think it’s a lesson, or rather a million little lessons, that I’m near finished learning yet.
This new year, I didn’t think I was going to choose a word at all. Until God gently placed one in my lap.
My word for 2017 is peace.
I am praying for and seeking to cultivate peace this year. Peace in my heart, in our home, in my mind, in our marriage, and in my serving.
Peace. In my head it is such an over-used, misapplied and misinterpreted concept. But in my heart, I know that it is a sacred gift from God and something that He talks about over and over in His Word. It isn’t a special feeling or spiritual knowing. It is something to be worked for, prayed for, and fought for. This is my 2017 prayer, focus, battlecry.
May peace, His peace, reign in me.