Words are like threads that tie the pieces of our lives together—they either build up or unravel in a tangled mess. When I think back on my one word for 2014, I can see it woven intricately through every moment. I wasn’t aware of it most of the time, but I can see its beautiful, bright strands peeking through the darkness and heaviness of my year.
As I sat down at the end of December last year to figure out my one word, I settled on “entrust.” I knew there were many things that God wanted me to surrender and hand over to Him, knowing that He would fully take care of all of my worries and needs. I’m thankful that we can’t see too far ahead of us; if I had known what the year would entail, I may have run away, screaming that it was too much.
Just a few short weeks after I wrote about entrusting everything to God, I had a mental breakdown. Years of trying to get by and push through caught up with me and I couldn’t take it anymore. Face to face with my frailty, my husband and I had to make the hardest of decisions—to return to the States and end our service overseas. I knew I could entrust my future to God, but could I really entrust my husband’s future? My husband who never pictured himself back in America now had to make a huge sacrifice for his wife and family. That decision lay so heavily on me.
In the coming months, as he had to transfer his leadership responsibilities over and as we wrapped up decades’ long friendships, we had to believe that God would see us through, and that He would see our team and our friends through. As the finality of our decision unfolded, we suffered with a great loss of identity and purpose.
A few weeks before leaving, doctors discovered tumors on my thyroid that they thought were cancerous. After getting my thyroid completely removed, we found that the tumors were benign (thankfully!). One week after this major surgery, we departed for the States with our three little kids—no house and no job and no idea what God wanted us to do. We were emotionally and physically depleted.
As we near the end of this year, my husband has found a job and we are now living in our own house in Minnesota. This is a world away from what I thought we’d be doing! But God has been ever near and ever present. I don’t say that tritely. We have walked through some hot fires, often screaming at how painful it was. We believe, though, that stuff had to be burned away so that we could grow.
Thinking ahead to this year, I have been pondering what word I want to see woven into the days ahead. What do I want to look back and see? I want to focus this year on the word “strengthen.” I want to bolster and enhance my relationship with my husband and my kids. I want God to restore my spirit so that I can thrive. My muscles seem so weak and it will take time to strengthen them. The rhythm of my days has to allow for the space to do this strengthening. I pray that at the end of next year, I will see myself stronger.
What word would you like to see woven through your days in this coming year? I would love to hear about your 2014. I can’t wait to hear at The Grove on Friday what your One Word for 2015 is.