For the past several years, I’ve had a “word of the year;” a word I settle into my heart like a resolution; something to focus on throughout the year and then look back on to see how God used that word in my life.
2014 was certainly a year of learning to be. As I said last year:
As I venture into 2014, I leave behind a lot of baggage and I inhale a fresh breath of newness and rebirth and more opportunities for growth. I practice slowing down and taking smaller steps so I don’t miss a single significant moment. I pray I’ll learn how to quiet my brain and heart so that I can focus on just being in any given moment, fully and devotedly. I ask God to show me ways to be exactly who He made me to be even when that’s not exactly popular. I begin to focus on living more life and taking more pictures and going on more adventures…and blabbing about it all less, because I think there’s something sacred in keeping things between you and someone else—you and God—and treasuring them quietly in your heart.
And I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I learned more about being in God’s presence over the past several months and being who He made me to be.
Some big things happened in my life in 2014: My family moved. I finished my Honors undergraduate thesis. I began sending out query letters to literary agents, looking for someone to represent my novel. I lived an amazing, whirlwind of a summer, which included: directing my friends’ wedding, spending a week visiting the Pacific Northwest with one of my dearest friends, and working as a student research assistant with a professor over the summer. Last month, I graduated from college. And so many, many more little moments being.
Toward the end of 2014, I began thinking about a “word of the year” for 2015. I knew this year would usher in many changes, as I didn’t go back to school after Christmas break and resume my well-accustomed schedule. I knew it needed to be one that covered all of the life changes of this new year, including, but not limited to: learning to be an adult.
Because, really, no one tells you how to do that.
I also knew the word needed to encompass the season of life where you learn to seek the Lord while you wait for what’s next. While you wait. While you’re faithful in the small, daily, seemingly insignificant tasks.
So I spent time thinking about all of that. Know what I came up with? Nothing. No word stood out to me or hit me out of nowhere. A word didn’t scream “pick me!”
I expected that, though. As I talked with a friend about New Years resolutions, I told her how I just have to let it settle slowly into me. I don’t want to pick a word, because then I give myself all these expectations to live up to. And then it becomes all about me.
Then one day I was sitting in church, listening to the sermon, and I had my word:
That’s what I desperately want. I desperately want to experience God fully. I don’t want to miss any of what He desires to show me and teach me. I don’t want to miss a moment of the life He gives to me. I want to inhale each minute, memorize each moment, learn at every opportunity. Spend less time with the social media profiles of people on my iPhone, and more time with the actual people in my life.
Learn to be small and still before God, rather than rushing to check things off a list and striving to be more, do more, feel more.
Be in His presence and know Jesus. Fully.
So this year, I’ll focus on living fully. Learning to let God’s Spirit fill me up with His love so that I can fully share that love with the world around me.
I don’t know how that will look in 2015. Believe me, I know very little in this season of life.
But I do know, with full assurance, that nothing is wasted. No moments of wondering, no miles of wandering are wasted.
In John 10:10, Jesus says:
“I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.”
This idea of living fully? It’s freeing because:
“He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.” – Colossians 2:13-14
Knowing that we’re not wading through a bog of condemnation and punishment is freeing because it means we’re free to live life fully, by His grace and for His glory.
So may 2015, with all of its fuzzy unknowns and beautiful mysteries, be a year of abiding in Christ. Sharing the reason for the hope that we have. Living fully.
In His love,