I’ve asked and begun to answer three questions as I look forward to more in 2016. The last several years I have chosen a word and verse to live by in the new year.
My word for 2015 was “Hope” and I am not sure how much I remembered that this past year. It didn’t really resonate with the year that I had. It is a word that is part of the faith I have in Jesus, so it will always hold significance. The verse I paired with it shows that much.
A friend put a post on Facebook where she asked everyone to use one word to describe their past year. As I thought about it, the word, “consuming” came to mind. Whether it was a broken relationship, school and career decisions for my husband or lingering health issues, all of these things and more consumed my time and energy. I am ready to be less consumed in 2016.
As I considered what word I would choose for this year, I wanted it to truly describe the journey I am on in rediscovering pieces of my identity and exploring new facets I have yet to know about myself. As a new word popped into my head and I would ruminate on it, another would take its place as more appropriate. So instead of a word, I am focusing on a Bible passage.
This is one of my absolute favorites:
Every time I read it or hear it, music pops into my head. Not the choral version, but one sung with youth group kids and a guitar, the only way I have ever heard it. It’s a blessing from God, a benediction, an encouraging message to move forward.
“The Lord bless you and keep you…” – God promises to bless me (He already has) and keep me in his care. When friends are far away and my husband is busy with school, God is still with me.
“…the Lord make his face shine on you…” -“Alluding to the shining of the sun upon the earth, to enlighten, and warm, and renew the face of it.” (Benson commentary) God reflects his love through me, how cool! God provides renewal in the midst of depression and failure.
“and be gracious to you;” – Yea, I need to lean on God’s grace. I know I don’t give myself enough grace and as I look forward to 2016 and new adventures, I need to know grace and understand its purpose when I don’t accomplish things in my own time.
“the Lord turn his face toward you..” – God is looking at me and smiling because I am His creation and he has given me a purpose in this life. Witnessing his love through Jesus Christ is a life goal that is renewed each day.
“and give you peace.” – Peace is a popular ask each new year, but as I always seek peace for the world and for those who are grieving, I also seek peace for myself. Many times this past year, I have been reminded how precious and fleeting this life is. It’s not worth it to cry over spilled milk or stress over the small stuff. God’s peace covers the menial things as well as the big life stuff. God never promises life to be easy, but he does promise His peace to be with us.
This Bible passage serves as my remembrance that whatever I do, God will be with me, will bless me and will encourage me. Seeing all that is to come in 2016 through the eyes of my Father and His love for me and the world, certainly helps me begin again in a better state of mind.
What is your theme for 2016?