Last year I joined the trend of picking a work of the year rather than setting New Year's resolutions that, lets be honest, I would be breaking one week in just like everyone else. It ended up being a theme, and not one that I had necessarily intended. 2014's word was "aware". I began praying about it in December and when God put that seemingly random word on my heart I thought he was telling me that I needed to quit being so self centered. That I needed to look outside of myself and serve those around me, be aware of others and look for opportunities to love them. I was in a not great place, focusing on the fact that I didn't have a 2 month old baby like I had expected and that we were struggling to become pregnant again. To be really honest I knew that was the word God had given me but I didn't want it. I was wallowing. Not ready to give my sorrows over completely. But God knew what he was doing, as always, and didn't let me change it. As the months went on, without realizing it at first, I did become aware. Not of the world around me but of my god around me. Of Him completely engulfing me in his love, of his patience with my stubbornness, of his grace to forgive me for taking matters in my own hands and not trusting. Aware of the enemy and his desire to attack me (lets just say that was not a pleasant realization but an utterly necessary one). Aware of his word, that it really is powerful, that He speaks to me through it. Aware of the relationships He has given me to encourage and challenge me to seek his way over my own. Aware of his greatness, that He truly has the details and timing all worked out and it is better than my planning could ever be. But isn't that our Father's way? Why must I first assume He is correcting me, when He is in reality loving me so deeply and calling to me to rest in that love?
So a couple months ago several friends and I decided to start praying for our word for next year. And Holy Spirit started almost immediately to show me a theme: JOY! Not happiness, but true joy. The kind that is only found in Christ, in our relationship and dependance on him. Joy that cannot be shaken by circumstances, this is what I am seeking in 2015. I am excited to see not only what He has to teach me this year, but for the peace that will come in the learning.