Of myself — and that’s a good thing
“It IS a wonderful life,” I thought to myself as I closed out 2021. As I started to type this (now weeks ago), I was awaiting the results of an MRI on my left shoulder, wishing the machine had scanned my low back and both thumb joints, too. My body is breaking.
My marketing colleague — my only co-worker on my team besides interns (who I need desperately!) — took a job in New York. (New York! Crazy woman.) A longtime intern who would be perfect to replace her decided she wants to experience new things with a different company. It’s not a great time to hire. As I reenter my office after the holidays, I realize my workload may break me.
I completed my year in the FlourishWriters Academy having succeeded in just one of my three goals — being consistent in writing a blog post each week. (Mostly.) I started writing a children’s book. I contemplated writing a memoir. But as far as achieving all my aspirations for writing in 2021? Not so much.
And yet 2021 will go down in the record books — the six journals I’ve handwritten this year — as a wonderful year.
In January last year, I chose “satisfied” as my word of the year. My goal was to be satisfied in God so He could be glorified in me. I adjusted my workout schedule to have more quality time with Him. When I added some weight because of my changed priorities, well, God showed me I needed to be “satisfied” with myself, too.
With extra pounds and reduced achievements, I could feel I am a failure. Instead, I feel thankful. I am learning to trust God’s timing, His leading, His ability to accomplish what He will in and through me. What’s more, I am recognizing His presence in my life throughout the day.
In short, I am learning that God is enough. One year is not enough to know that completely, of course, and I will continue in that quest.
My ‘Word of the Year’ for 2022
But for 2022, I have chosen different for my “Word of the Year.” As in, “How am I different because I choose to trust in God?” How am I different from how I once was? How am I different from someone who does not know God?
Can others tell I am different in how I handle stress and hardship? Relationships? Good fortune or not-so-good? I wonder.
After all, I stress-eat and develop psychosomatic aches and pains because I’m completely stressed. I inwardly panic when I realize how high my pile of work has grown. I react in anger to perceived offenses. I get irritated and whine and complain with the best people I know (sometimes because of the best people I know!).
I suspect it’s because I look at what I can see instead of looking to what is unseen. I forget that what I can see is temporary; what is unseen is eternal. I forget that my trials are “light and momentary troubles” compared to eternity (2 Corinthians 4:17-18, NIV).
I can say that at this moment as I write. But when I’m in the midst of the trial, I forget where to look. I too often go into the battle wearing my human suit instead of God’s full armor. I don’t mean those huge, I-can’t-do-it-without-Him battles. When I’m at the end of myself, way outside my ability to win a fight, I turn to God. Where else could I turn?
Why I chose ‘different’
It’s the normal, everyday trials, the ones that make me think “I’ve got this” that make me look at the trial instead of my Savior. Because, of course, I think I can save myself, fueled with dark chocolate caramels with sea salt or an enormous bowl of buttered popcorn.
As would anyone else on the planet who doesn’t realize Someone Greater is available even in the daily nitty-gritty.
Jesus is the difference-maker. Or He should be.
Am I different because of Him? Does the way I live show that I trust Him? Have I won anyone to Christ by my behavior? Do I attract others to a life of faith by the way I live?
I want to be decidedly different. Dependently different, actually.
For I am dependent on Him to be different. I can’t make myself different — that would be me in my human suit. But He can change me, help me remember from the inside out that He is with me. Perhaps, as did the father who asked Jesus to heal his tormented son in Mark 9, I should say, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”
For it is my failure to believe — always — that He satisfies my longing soul AND fights my battles. Even when they take the form of an overstuffed inbox of work requests. Or a blank screen where I should have a nearly completed book. Or a body, aging and breaking.
It is a wonderful life. With Him. And that should make the difference.
What about you, Dear Reader? Have you chosen a “Word of the Year” for 2022?
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