I love this idea because it goes beyond resolutions, right to the heart of active change.
Still, I had a hard time coming up with a word. What word could I be mindful of this year? What change would I like to see in my life as a result? What are my biggest concerns and struggles right now? And what, really, is God trying to say through these things?
But really I wonder what my attitude will be like through it all.
I love these words from Shauna Niequist:
"Let yourself fall open to Advent, to anticipation, to the belief that what is empty will be filled, what is broken will be repaired, and what is lost can always be found, no matter how many times it's been lost." -Bittersweet, p. 95
"Sometimes the happiest ending isn't the one you keep longing for, but something you absolutely cannot see from where you are." -Bittersweet, p. 129These words have shaped what will be my word for this year: Expectancy.
For some reason, I don't always expect a whole lot from God. I am so surprised and overwhelmed when He blesses me. Case in point: getting my dream job, moving to Nashville 7 months ago, and all that has accompanied it. I knew I needed to take a leap of faith but I never expected God to come through in such huge ways.
What would it look like to expect and anticipate God's work in my life? I'm not referring to a Name It and Claim It type of gospel. That's probably on the other spectrum of where I sit.
I want to taste and see God's goodness in my life.
Even when, and maybe especially when, things go awry. My first weekend call was this past weekend and it was, quite frankly, hell. God did not answer my prayers for a quiet weekend, no middle of the night calls, or that my worst fears (DCS or psych cases) wouldn't be realized. However, I believe God gave me a sense of clarity, which enabled me to triage what I was given, know when I needed to ask my co-workers for guidance, and successfully do my job, even when I was at my breaking point. So perhaps I had prayed the wrong prayer. I shouldn't ask to avoid my fears but ask for the wisdom to handle them when they occur. And I should anticipate that God will give me the strength to keep going no matter what.
I want to live in more hope. Hope that my dreams will come true or that I will start dreaming the right ones. Hope that God will use me for His good. Hope that my loved ones will recognize their need for Him. Hope that I will be more graceful toward myself, that I will not miss out on what God wants to do in and through me.
Even though my life is fairly lovely in so many ways, I can't see the happy ending from where I sit. If I could live with expectancy through my time in this waiting room. If I could anticipate that God is at work right this minute, that He is bringing forth something in my life that is more than I could ever ask or imagine. I think if I can be expectant in all of these ways, I will be an entirely new person by the dawn of 2012.
I am going to live with expectancy that as the year progresses, I will see traces of God at work and glimpses of what my dreams will be. As I gain more knowledge of the Holy, perhaps I will learn to be more expectant of myself in the process.