People are doing this thing.
This thing where they carefully select one word at the beginning of the year.
One word to define your year; a tool to guide your journey through the coming new year in a way that will allow for substantial and focused growth.
I haven’t ever thought much about having one word. In my mind, it’s a great concept- but much like resolutions, they come with a limited lifespan.
However, I’m finding myself returning time and time again to a certain theme in my life. It is something between health, healing, and wholeness…
Coming from a year that has undoubtedly changed me more than any other time or situation in my life, I’m carrying an awareness of how much this season has taught me. Not only taught me, but aged me… taken a toll on my heart and soul, and I’ve come to the moment where the necessity of collecting myself with a deep breath, and focus on what is ahead is crucial for my well-being.
So what’s the word?
I woke up last Sunday morning, knowing I was going to go visit a new church- I had been talking myself into it all week.
In a new city.
With no one to step through the doors with me, nothing to stabilize me, and no idea what to expect. Completely dependent on trusting that the Lord would be my security. Mulling through all of these fears that morning, something came to mind….
“All I need is to feel safe as I seek Him.”
As the Pastor began his introduction he mentioned the name of the church, “Sanctuary”, how this place was reflective of its name, a place of “safety to seek the sacred”.
There it was.
I texted a few friends…
“I’m trying a new church this morning. I’m nervous. In fact, I’m sitting in the pew about to burst into tears.”
And then it happened.
Ugly, sniffly, tears.
Everyone saw… at least I was fairly sure they did.
I’ll be honest, I’ve retracted some this year.
My heart has been hurt, my trust has been pressed, and I’ve come out a little less open and much more wary. It is hard for me to feel safe these days; the state of my soul being slightly fractured.
When your soul is splintered in this way, it translates into everything. How your body feels, how tired you are, the effort you put into relationships, how you view the world and the people who fill it…
The refracted light bouncing off these fragmented pieces is shedding some new perspective on what should happen in my life this coming year.
I need to heal.
My heart, my body, my soul.
I have yet to find out how that works, what direction it will take me, and what it will cost me.
But I do know these things…
It will happen with safe, loving community.
It will happen with a little bit of pain.
It will happen with heartbreak and hard decisions.
It will be freedom.