Hope for 2018

Have you done this “word” of the year? It’s a thing. I only know of it and never really got it. I’ve had plenty of ideas for New Year plans or goals, but not really resolutions.

I love love LOVE New Year’s Day. Renewal. Clean slate. Deep breaths and here we go. I enter each year with a strong intention to make it better than the year before. The definition of “better” might vary, but the anticipation and enthusiasm for the spirit of fresh starts and new adventures are evergreen.

The last few years, I still haven’t done the “one word” thing, but I have had a sort of theme float to the surface that I’ve embraced for the coming year.

It started with Promise. And the theme worked to remind me of God’s promises but also the promise of a New Year. Like Promising. The Year was promising. And so was I. When events happened that threw me into a spin, I used Promise to get focused. Yes, life was a blur and at times terrifying, gut-wrenching, and sad, but God’s promises were solid. Clear. True.

Promise acted as a sort of touchstone for me to meditate on and hold on to as life did as it is wont to do. My life seems to be like an ocean– at times calm and holding me up with its salty clear waters. Other times the ocean of life is murky and choppy and slapping me in the face making me choke and my eyes sting.  But I held to Promise like an anchored buoy. I couldn’t float away. Or sink.

As 2016 ended, a new theme presented itself. I phrase it like that because that’s how it’s been happening. I see the end of the year coming up and silently wonder what will happen in the new year and it seems a new word keeps showing up.

For 2017, Trust kept coming to mind. And, wow. So many events and decisions that required me to Trust. TRUST. It was kinda brutal. There were months of uncertainty and I often repeated Trust as a mantra to counter dizzy nausea that life events were causing. Sometimes I whispered trust in wonder. Sometimes I gritted it out as I hung on.

It was really hard and yet, it did get easier. Like a muscle that got stronger the more it was used.

Trust in God. And let me say again, brutal. B-R-U-T-A-L. Also, amazing. Humbling. Beautiful.

And the theme was also to trust those who had proven themselves trustworthy. And to stop trusting those had proven themselves… well, let’s just say, less so.

And it was a year of learning (and re-learning) to trust me. To know I was…enough. Enough to try. Enough to succeed. Enough to fail and try again. Enough.

And a few weeks ago, the word Hope arrived. And it feels very shiny and lovely. Hope is arriving on a gentle wind. It resonates deep in my bones. Living in a new place with new work before me and many unknowns, I still hold on to Promise and Trust, but Hope is a welcome addition.

Happy New Year!

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Romans 5:4 Endurance produces character, and character produces hope.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for well-being, and not for calamity, in order to give you a future and a hope.