These all seem like great motto words for the year.
When I see other bloggers release their official words in January, I always think, “Oh that’s so nice that they have a word. I should do that. But what’s my word? Which word would I pick?” And that’s usually where it stops for me. Apparently I don’t think I can follow-through with a single word for 365 days. I mean that is a major commitment. To be organized for an entire year?! To strive for a year of self-discipline?! hahaha impossible.
Then one day in early January this year I was driving and praying (this is usually where I get in my good time with the Lord; where I finally have a moment to sit and converse with the Lord), and the Lord gave me a word. Boy did He ever give me a word. In all honesty, I did not like the word He chose for me. It crippled me with fear. What does this word me for me? How uncomfortable is this going to make me? I didn’t share that word here, or with anyone but my husband. I was too scared.
My word of the year has been perseverance. It has been a word I’ve thought about multiple times on a daily basis. It has been a word I have prayed about everyday. It is something that I have pondered and asked for clarity on. It is something that I have asked for peace about. It is something that I have asked the Lord for spiritual maturity and growth from.
It’s only July, but here’s what I’ve learned so far this year: I shouldn’t be scared. The Lord loves me and He only wants good things for me. Perseverance isn’t a new concept. The bible clearly states that as Christians we are going to face troubles; we are actually guaranteed struggles (John 16:33). And not just little struggles, but big ones so that God can use us as instruments to bring others to Christ. Our reactions to struggles and storms are what matter, not whether or not we have storms. Having a boring and “perfect” life doesn’t really do much for the Kingdom. Being a Believer does not protect us from struggles, it is actually an invitation for more. If I’ve learned nothing else in the past decade with our struggle with infertility and loss, I certainly know that we are not alone and that God is using our lives to promote His kingdom. This is a huge honor!
Admittedly I lived the first part of this year crippled in fear. Did the Lord have something terrible in store for my family? Would my husband get sick or lose his job? Would Dutch be in danger or pain? Would we lose another baby? When was the next shoe about to fall off? The truth is that any of these things could happen. It doesn’t matter if I live my life in fear or not. I can do my best to keep my family healthy, safe and pray for their protection, but the destiny of this family is not in my hands. There will be more struggles that we face, but until then I need to persevere and give over all of my fears to God (1 Peter 5:7). I need to cling to the Lord for strength and peace. He is my rock.
Perseverance doesn’t have to be a bad word. It doesn’t have to mean “wait for the next bad thing to happen”. Instead, as a Christian because we know we will face more struggles, it means to cling to the Lord, to maintain and nourish my relationship with Christ, to enjoy the moments that we are living in right now, and to focus on the blessings we have already been gifted.
The year isn’t over, and I’m sure I still have a lot to learn, but for now I have found contentment in the growth and the perseverance I’m facing now. And you know, it’s really not that bad :-)