I have so many thoughts swirling around in my mind. I struggled with what to write about today, but I’ve landed on sharing my “word” for the year. It seems my word needs to exist “out loud” to be real and garner the power I want it to have in this next year. (Have you heard that? When you want to significantly increase your chance of following through on a next step or commitment, share it with someone else. The simple act of vocalizing the goal gives you more accountability and drive to achieve it.)
So, here I go… making myself accountable to you – however that may look in our virtually connected world.
My word for 2021 is HOPE.
I want to be a person of hope. I feel like I have lost hope in some areas of my life. I’ve become more cynical and less trusting. Not in such an obvious, out-there-visible kind of way (unless some of you tell me you’ve experienced me differently), but rather in that internal, down-deep-consistently-nagging, shallow-breathing-anxious sort of manner.
When I thought about this more, I discovered that I had lost some of my willingness to trust God with my whole heart. I recognize I am afraid of the disappointment I will experience if I ask for something I deeply desire and then do not receive it. More intense digging revealed that I doubt His sincere concern for my wants and desires. And I’ve connected this to my childhood experiences with my dad. Although he always met our basic needs, and I believe he loved me, I don’t remember feeling that he delighted in giving me something. I don’t remember him ever asking me what I wanted.
So, this next year, I want to face the reality of how those emotions battle for my soul and do the intentional relationship work with God to recover my ability to dream and anticipate and ask. Hope can resurface despite the inevitable – and sometimes many – unmet desires and seemingly-unanswered prayers. I want to re-grow my ability to believe and trust and hope.
Secondly, I want to be a purveyor of hope to others. Our company is going through organizational structure changes, which can shake confidence and security foundations for some. When future direction and role clarity is uncertain, people can feel lost and fearful and without hope. I want to engage with these challenges and struggles and find places where I can listen or help and offer hope. Just as in my situation, I can bring wise words, to-the-point resources, or an elaborately detailed plan, but my most valuable contribution may be to encourage a more in-depth look at the heart to uncover the in-the-shadows hope-resisters that operate there. I am learning that when we unveil those truths, they lose much of their power, and we can re-kindle life-giving hope.
How are you starting your new year? Do you have a “word” or specific focus or desire for this next year?