So a few years ago I started adopting a word for the year. It always seems like a good idea until I pray about it and get my words. For the first two years, the word was: UNOFFENDED. Yeah, that was like having Patience or Grace as your word. I want to live life unoffended, but that means being in lots of situations where I get to choose between living offended or unoffended. UGH! You can see why it was two years running. (The fact that it isn't my word now has more to do with God's mercy, than my success...)
Last year's word was: INTENTIONAL. That actually went okay. It forced me to be more intentional with my relationships and time, still working on the money thing, but all-in-all a fairly positive year on the word front.
This year, however, is one of those hard ones. This year's word (well, phrase really) is:
I'm perfectly fine with the "Joyful" part. Bring it on! LOVE joy! Would LOVE to have more of it in my life! But then there's "Trust".....
Yes, again, Trust is like Patience or Grace, it just doesn't get exercised in the good times. You've got to be in precarious situations to learn trust. I don't like precarious situations. But here's the thing. The year has already started out on a precarious note, so I'm going to be trusting whether I like it or not. The key issue for me isn't learning to trust, though I DO need to work on that. The key issue is attitude. See I pair trust with words like Ruthless, Staunch, Unyeilding. Hard words for hard times. I don't generally think of trust (or approach it) in terms of Joy. I let the circumstance dictate my attitude. It's a precarious time so I woman up, grit my teeth and hang on to that trust tooth and nail....and inevitably miss all that is good and beautiful around me. I lose the Joy. And I don't think that's how it's supposed to be.
Keep in mind, please, that Joy and Happiness aren't the same thing. This isn't Happy Trust....there are times where that's not only incongruous, it's just plain ridiculous. Happy Trust can't show up in the dark times because happiness can't live there. But Joy can. Joy is contentment and hope instead of despair. Joy is peace instead of worry. Joy is anticipation instead of dread. We can create a sense of happiness, a sense of pleasure, but Joy (to paraphrase C.S. Lewis) comes from somewhere else. We cannot manufacture Joy. Joy is THE byproduct of truly trusting in the Trustworthy. It is the byproduct of knowing the Truth and being set free by it.
And so begins the year of JOYFUL TRUST. I have a lot of reasons to fear and dread the year, but I have decided to choose JOYFUL TRUST instead. And today is Day One.
Just out of curiosity, did you pick a word for the year? If so (and you want to) please share it in the comments below.