A new year starts tomorrow. I know everyone everywhere is saying this, but I can’t believe that 2017 is over. It seems impossible that it has been year since I wrote this post welcoming 2017 and claiming the word fearless as my word of the year. This week I’ve done some review to evaluate and see how that word actually played out in my life.
I did some big things in 2017. I bought a house — I secured financing and signed on the dotted line — all by myself…at least in human terms. Knowing that I could never have made it to that lawyers office with those papers on the table if my God had not worked big miracles, made it much easier to pick up the pen and trust that He will continue to provide. I oversaw a minor renovation in the kitchen of my home. I learned about countertops and plumbers and how to hang cabinet doors. I learned to tile a backsplash and painted every single wall and piece of trim in this house. N and I bought a lawn mower and watched YouTube videos about lawn care. I stood up for good things and I stood against things that threaten to steal the truth, goodness, and beauty from the places I love.
As I pondered my journey with the word fearless this week I realized that one of the reasons I feel like I lived out this work this year is because I learned what I really fear. My introduction to my enneagram number (I’m a 5 with a strong 6 wing) revealed so much to me about fears that sometimes drive my decisions. My core fears for these two types are not having my needs met, depletion due to too much forced interaction with others, and being left to do it all on my own. When I saw these fears laid out in front of me and realized that they were exactly what I had been fighting for years I was able to start reminding myself that God has never let my needs go unmet, that I have never actually experienced total emotional and physical depletion, and that even though I was abandoned and left to do this huge thing on my own — I never walk alone. In staring down these fears I was able to see how Jesus takes care of each one and I was able to truly fear less. If you have not studied the Enneagram, I highly suggest that you check out Your Enneagram Coach to read some great information about the Enneagram from a Christian perspective. This is not sponsored content, I am just so grateful for what I have learned through Beth this year.
So what about 2018? What word will I focus on this year? In thinking about this I realized that I have always looked at the new year like, “Here it comes, ready of not. Let’s see what this year brings me…or does to me.” The words I’ve chosen for the year have always been things I wanted to be or have. So this year I’ve decided to choose a different type of word. This year I’m taking the bull by the horns. 2018 is not going to do anything to me because it is just a twelve month cycle on the calendar but I can leave a mark on 2018 and that is what I intend to do. My word for 2018 is challenge.
And I don’t mean that this year is going to challenge me, though it probably will. What I really mean is that I going to stand up and challenge myself and others. This year I will…
- Challenge my body
- Challenge my mind
- Challenge the Church’s view and treatment of divorced, single moms
- Challenge the way those single moms view themselves and their futures
- Challenge my own view of my future and the things my God can do
- Challenge my bank account
- Challenge my fear of depletion and step out of my box
- Challenge lies wherever I find them
- Challenge my children to know truth and to seek out goodness and beauty
Instead of waiting for 2018 to come and get me, I’m preparing to take a flying leap into January. How about you? If you aren’t ready to challenge a new year because the last year has beaten you into a pulp, that’s okay. There have been many years that I have stared at a page marked “New Year Goals” and wanted to simply write “survive.” It’s okay to not have a word for the year. It’s okay for your only goal to be checking the next right thing off your list — even if that next right thing is just getting out of bed and taking a shower. I’ve been there. It is my hope that you find some Hope in my message here — it gets better. Sad is not the end. Keep putting one foot in front of the other, friend. He is going to make all things new — maybe even this year.