Photo by: Kate Love Photography
As I began typing my word of the year post for 2019 I realized I never actually blogged about my word(s) from 2018. This is a practice that I have been doing for several years now so I wanted give them a post of their own since they ended up teaching me quite a bit over the past twelve months. (I plan to share my 2019 word of the year (and saint of the year!) later this week.)
The words: peace & joy.
I mentioned in my 2018 inventory post that the year started off a little rocky with the loss of a close relative. While it was a chance to bring extended family together it was still an absolutely heartbreaking experience. My uncle was young, active, and a vibrant personality lost too soon from my humble and human perspective. December 2017 and January 2018 were dark months, spent wrestling with God and my ongoing questioning of why do we have to lose the ones we love? My spirit had not felt that sort of conflicted energy for quite some time and as I sat down last year to pray and think about my word of the year the words peace and joy kept popping up in my writing and in my mind. At the time I laughed at the thought of those words becoming my mission through the year because I was in such a state of mourning mixed with frustration and a good bit of anger.
Peace and joy were what my heart longed for but could not yet be fathomed by my brain. As the year progressed I actually forgot about those words, I wasn’t really focusing on them regularly and didn’t hear them too often in my prayers and thoughts. But as I reflected this past December on 2018 I realized, peace and joy were completely evident over the year that was 2018. I looked over this past year and saw the growth found throughout the touchstones of my life – my girls who seem to be getting bigger by the minute, my marriage that continues to grow and change and deepen, my family, my friends, our community – I found so much comfort in my surroundings and the ones that I love and through that peace and joy were cultivated more than I ever realized. I ended the year feeling at home: at home in my place in life and where I need to be to serve the ones around me right now, at home in my church and the ministries we continue to serve, at home in opportunities that have given me time and space to create, write, and share, and at home physically with the (somewhat unexpected) purchase of a new house that fits our family culture so well and we hope to spend many, many years in.
Peace and joy are possible. I hope to carry these words that have deeply rooted themselves into my soul over the next year as it is one that will surely carry with it change and new challenges. I am so thankful that God knew me better than myself, while I may have laughed at him at the start of the year – He knew, He is capable of turning our greatest sorrows and our shattered hearts into something new. If only we let Him.
Previous word of the year posts:
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