2017 marks the fourth year I have chosen a word for the year. Poise. Simplify. Share. Worthy.
- The word was poise. Poise: Graceful and elegant bearing in a person. Grace, gracefulness, elegance, balance, control.
My dad was placed in hospice in February 2014. I realized then that by the end of the year, I would lose my first parent. What actually happened was that my Dad got better for a couple of months. Then one Sunday morning I got a phone call from my sister telling me that my Mom had unexpectedly passed away in her sleep. What!? Mother is gone? But, Daddy…. After hearing that he had lost his wife of almost 60 years, he followed her to heaven 11 days later. Breathe. Grieve. Celebrate. Remember. Grace. Poise.
3 months later, we sold the family farm. More memories. More letting go. Neighbors. Farmers. Auction. Bittersweet. Grace. Control. Balance. Poise.
God is good. He led my family through that very difficult time. We knew He was with us, providing the advisers we needed as we let go. Moving to a new phase in our lives and in our family. Life can change so suddenly. God is still good and God is always good.
- The word was simplify. Simplify: Make something simpler or easier to do or understand. To make less complex or complicated.
My husband and I owned a duplex. We lived in one half and rented out the other half. We were landlords. We didn’t want to be landlords. We decided it was time to pare down and own only one home. We sold both houses and bought one. We no longer had to manage two yards or expenses for two homes. We no longer had to find new tenants when one would move.
We moved to one home with a smaller, more manageable yard. We felt liberated. We felt so at home in our new house, 80’s wallpaper and all. Life felt so much simpler.
- The word was share. Share: have a portion of something with another or others. Split, divide, go halves on.
My husband and I had multiple opportunities to share with others. We shared meals with old and new friends in our home. We shared financial gifts with individuals and families when God directed us. We shared purses with victims of domestic violence. We helped provide winter coats for children who didn’t have one. We shared our home with a young family for a few days. We shared words of wisdom with friends when God led us. We opened our home to a dog that needed rescued from a bad situation.
- The word is worthy. Worthy: Having or showing the qualities or abilities that merit recognition in a specified way. Good and deserving respect, praise or attention.
My Bible study group studied Ephesians. Chapter 4, verse 1 says “live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” The word “worthy” jumped out at me as I was praying and searching for my one word for this year. I knew it was the word as soon as I read it, but I needed confirmation. As I studied the list of other words I was considering, I knew that God had led me to my word. My one word. Worthy. I have no idea how He will use it in my life this year. Just as he has done the past 3 years, I know He will use it to draw me closer to Him. To deepen our relationship.
Two weeks after I chose my word, my lesson in “worthy” began. I was talking with someone who is sometimes known to be “difficult”. She made an unexpected comment that really took my breath away. When she said it, I sat motionless. Not wanting to show my true feelings. You see, I am one who needs time to process words and ideas and thoughts thrown at me. I needed to step back and think about what she was actually trying to say to me. Was there a hidden message? Was she hinting at something that someone else had been saying about me? Was it just a random thought she threw out for no reason? I have no idea. But what I do know is that she planted a seed of doubt and fear in me. She made me feel unworthy.
After I claimed the word “worthy”, an old hymn came to mind.
Unworthy am I of the grace that He gave,
Unworthy to hold to His hand;
Amazed that a King would reach down to a slave,
This love I cannot understand.
Unworthy, unworthy, a beggar;
In bondage and alone;
But He made me worthy and now by His grace,
His mercy has made me His own.
My sorrow and sickness laid stripes on His back,
My sins caused the blood that was shed;
My faults and my failures have woven a crown
Of thorns, that He wore on His head.
Unworthy am I of the glory to come,
Unworthy with angels to sing;
I thrill just to know that He loved me so much,
A pauper, I walk with the King
I know there will be people who make me feel unworthy. But I also know that One person loved me enough to have His Son die on the Cross for me. He died so my sins could be forgiven. I don’t always feel worthy of His love, but His love makes me worthy.