And here we are again, at the start of another new year, with another new word to set the tone for these next twelve months.
Oof. If you’ve been following us over the past few years, you might have known that in 2018 and 2019 I chose a word to signify the year. This wasn’t a practice I’d done before, but I noticed that having a word or a theme helped me pay attention to life in ways that I wasn’t previously. This year, about a month ago, I started praying and asking God for a new word. I had some plans for what they might be: Go, or Do, or Work, or Now, or Run all came to mind. Then I felt something COMPLETELY DIFFERENT and all the way out of my controlled comfort zone start stirring within me.
I felt the Lord whisper: surrender. And I quickly replied: No thanks.
Not interested in surrendering. Not down to give up my grasp. Not okay with unclenching my jaw or my fists and laying down what I think I need to be doing and fighting for.
And again: surrender.
I think sometimes I can tell what I most need by how much my heart fights against it. Am I alone in this? Like, if my response had been a calm, “Thank you Lord, but I already am surrendered to your will and happy to allow myself to be led by You and others,” (lol) I think He may have moved on. He may have let that word leave my mind and be replaced by something else. But nope, y’all, I am stuck with surrender.
For this Enneagram 8, Myers-Briggs ENFJ, Disc ID, stubborn, stubborn gal, the last thing I want to be told is to surrender. In college, when I’d call my mom stressed about essays and tests and relationships and responsibilities, she’d tell me to “aim for a B.” Most parents probably don’t tell their kids to shoot lower than A+, but my mama knew I needed to stop striving. My perfectionism doesn’t create me into the person God is calling me to be. My path, lined with planners and to-do lists and smiles and cute outfits and enough water and reminders on my phone and all the books in the world won’t save me. These things may be helpful, but only so much in as they help me bear God’s image and bring His Kingdom.
So I’m opening my hands. I’m laying down my need- no, my desires- for control. I’m walking into 2020 with surrender on my mind and in my heart. I’m uncomfortable, but I’m up for the challenge. Let’s wave the white flag.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.”