For the past couple years, I’ve taken to praying about one word as a goal for my upcoming year.  Last year (, I chose heal. 

I gently chuckle at my naïve self boldly choosing heal for last year as this past year has brought about so much more pain than healing — much  more pain than I expected, and much less healing than I had hoped. 
This year has been my season for dying, uprooting, killing, tearing down, weeping, mourning, scattering stones, refraining from embracing, giving up, throwing away, tearing, silence and war. Hopefully next year will be my year for birth and planting and healing and building and laughing and dancing and gathering stones and embracing and searching and keeping and mending and speaking and love and peace. 

So, this year, I’ve got three words.



I’m declaring this coming year to be the year of healing yet again, but this time with much more realistic expectations for what that will look like.  I’m guessing it will be a deeper work, not something others will be able to see just by looking at me.  But I’m moving forward with this word again mainly because I need it so desperately.  I cannot stay in some of the places I still am; I just can’t.
I’m also adding peace to my short list, for two reasons.  The first being that during a prayer time with some friends where I was attempting to let go of some wounds and to say goodbye to a significant era of my life, one of them whispered to God to please give me a word, and peace is what came to my mind immediately.  I think he wants me to have peace in this church-walking-away decision.  I think he wants me to know that though this goodbye is so hard, it’s also so very necessary if I’m going to (see above) heal. 

I’m adding it to the list also because though there are still some ups and downs in my post-marriage life for sure, the turbulent moments are fewer and farther between, and I think I’m supposed to start learning to live with circumstantial peace, after a lifetime of circumstantial chaos defining who I am.  This will take a while.  I’m a drama queen, I’m coming to find, and I don’t always know what to do with the quiet, sweet times (Oh, I don’t know, Beth, how about be grateful, enjoy them, stuff like that…working on it…).
And the final word I’m tossing out over this next year isn’t even a word.  (If it is, please let me know.)  It’s the concept that I stop caring so deeply what everyone other than Jesus thinks and says about me (see most of my posts in the past couple weeks).  Many people disagree with how I am living my life (Mike Foster calls them dream-stealers) – and they tell me what I’m doing wrong – and I just can’t take it anymore.  (This is how pathetically bad it has gotten: I was about to meet someone for lunch and I practically begged Jesus to keep her from saying something mean to me. Yeah.)
But you see, I need to be able to take it. I can’t throw away my phone and my laptop and never leave my house and never speak to or see anyone ever again, so I need to be able to learn to take in someone’s view of my life in a really healthy way, and right now, I take it all in in really codependent, weighing-down, almost paralyzing ways.  So I need whatever this word would be to take root in my life, and it might as well be sooner rather than later. 
So, three words…healing, peace, not-caring-what-people-think-of-me.
How about you? What are your words for this coming year?
“I decided to heal {her}, lead {her}, and comfort {her}, creating a new language of praise for the mourners. Peaceto the far-off, peace to the near-at-hand,” says GOD— “and yes, I will heal them.” –Isaiah 57- (Msg)

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