Embrace:: My Word for 2017
Embrace. That’s the word that came to me when I laid in bed the other night and asked God what He had in store for me this coming year.
For the past few Januaries I’ve been seeking God and asking Him to give me a word to help guide me through the new year. In 2015 it was “Follow.” He was urging me to stay close to Him and follow His lead (no matter how scary or intimidating or different the places were that He was taking me). And He certainly led me to some new and incredible relationships that year! In fact, that was the year He called me to start writing this blog—a scary endeavor for me indeed. Last year my word was “Persevere.” I wasn’t too happy about that one, to tell you the truth. It sounded like He was prepping me for a tough year, one that would require great amounts of fortitude and strength. I wasn’t really in the mood for challenge. But now that 2016 is over and done, I see what He was telling me. It was a difficult year in many ways. It did require a deep reserve of courage and strength at various points. I absolutely was reminded of His call for me to “persevere” many times throughout the year. He consistently called me to persevere in clinging to Him as my source of wisdom and truth and strength. He consistently reminded me that I didn’t need to fear challenge. As my best friend tells her young sons on a regular basis, “You can do hard things.” I felt God telling me that as well. And one fun surprise in this whole concept of “persevere” was that God also urged me to persevere in pursuing a couple of friendships that have been amazingly life-giving to me. He encouraged me to be consistent in showing up with them, to be diligent in pursuing time with them despite our busy schedules, and to be intentional in opening up my heart (and my real life “issues”) with them. And I must confess: it has been so rewarding.
So I guess God knew what He was saying to me last January after all. Hmph. Go figure.
And now, this year, I hear Him whisper “Embrace” to me.
“Embrace what?,” I ask.
“Embrace your moments. Embrace the gift of the present. Embrace who I’ve made you,” He says. And He goes on:
“Embrace your family. Embrace the moments you have with them. Lean in and listen to them when they share their hearts with you. Put down your phone and your laptop and really be with them when you are with them. And embrace the friends I’ve put in your life. Embrace those relationships and really go deep with them. Invite them into your home and let them know your heart and embrace them who they are and where they are at in their journeys as well. You be you and let them be them.
“Embrace the joy. Embrace the simple gifts I bring your way. Embrace the adventure and the thrill and the pleasure I lead you towards. And, yes: even embrace the mundane and the difficult and the hard. I’m in it all,” He says. “I am with you and I am for you and I am enough in all of it.”
Well… Okay, Lord. Here we go. I look forward to whatever You have for me this year.
“May all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who long for your saving help always say, “The Lord is great!” ~Psalm 70:4~
“You have been my hope, Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth. From birth I have relied on you… I will ever praise you.” ~Psalm 71:5-6~
“Show me your way, Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” ~Psalm 25:4-5~
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What about you?
Is there a particular word that you would use to sum up 2016? Is there one you have chosen for 2017? Do you set more specific goals around the New Year?
Please share your journey in the comment section below.