If you're like me, maybe you have a hard time giving up control. Maybe you like to have your week, month, or year scheduled out well in advance. Since I was a little girl I always wanted to know what the plan was. I'd wake up on Saturday morning, run downstairs with terrible morning breath and crazy bedhead and the first question I'd ask my parents was "what's on the schedule for today?" Seriously, it stressed me out to not know what was happening. Here I am years later and still struggle with the same thing. I have an idea of what I would prefer my life to look like, but the minute things start going a different direction I begin to worry. It can be extremely difficult for me to give up control.
At the beginning of last year I was prompted by the Holy Spirit to seek out a word for the year ahead. After some prayer and conversation with friends I felt called to "surrender". This was surely not an easy word for me to choose. Surrendering was really not in my nature. But, knowing God was going to do a work in me with a word like "surrender", I saddled up and prepared for a lesson. However, I had no clue that lesson would include COVID. Talk about a God moment. Only He could have orchestrated me choosing "surrender" for a year where I would be forced to give up so much. Most definitely not an easy task for one who likes control. However, God graciously taught me how to trust Him and allow Him to be the Author and Perfecter of my story.
Fast forward to January of this year, and I was almost sad to say goodbye to my 2020 word. So much growth came from it. However, after several weeks praying and thinking about it, a new word popped up on my Instagram feed: "embrace". Oh boy, another hard one for me. You see, patience and contentment have never come easy for me. It has been my tendency to always be looking to the next thing. As a middle schooler, I so badly wanted to move onto high school. Once I got to high school and learned it's actually one of the most frustrating times in one's life, I wanted to be in college. Since being here it's been hard for me to not look forward to the future when I'd have a career and hopefully a family. It has been a constant battle to sit in the present and embrace where I am at. Yet, I feel convicted to face the challenge and really focus on embracing the year ahead, no matter what it holds. There are relationships and opportunities right in front of me that need fostering, nurturing, and embracing.
It cannot be a coincidence that my word for last year was all about releasing and my word for this year is about holding onto. That is divine intervention by my Creator. He is teaching me how to give up the things that I have no control over and cling to the things that are right in front of me. Release and seize. Two words that carry completely different meanings, yet somehow go perfectly together.
The key here is to have a Kingdom mindset. If we focus too much on things of the world, we lose sight of what we are called to do. It is imperative to keep your attention turned towards God and remember that He is doing good work in and through you. The things of this world are temporary, but the Kingdom is forever. Remembering that makes it a lot easier for me to release and seize. Surrender and embrace.
This year I am choosing to surrender it all to God, while embracing what is right in front of me.
"Set your mind on things above, not on things of the earth."