Today I spent the better part of two hours catching back up with my close friend, Happy. We talked about life, work, revelations, #adventuresinbrooklyn, homeschooling, and a variety of other things. Our conversation came around to #oneword365. She shared that her word for the year is light. We talked about how there is light everywhere, you just have to look for it.
Then I shared how amazing our Creator is and how he fashioned our eyes to adjust, even in darkness, to see the light. You can be in a room and be able to see everything when the light is on, but when that switch gets flipped everything is darkness. It’s hard to walk around, you feel befuddled, perhaps scared, and unsure of where to step next. Then all it takes is slowing down, opening wide your eyes, and waiting, because the truth is, there is always light. Sometimes, it just takes a little shift in our perspective to glimpse it. Our iris has to grow larger so it can absorb the little light that is.
“…absorb the little light that is.”
Golly, that’ll preach. Look for the light. Let some time shift your perspective and you’ll begin to see more clearly, now sure footed, assured, and no longer afraid. When light breaks in, beauty and joy are more easily experienced, and what used to be shrouded in darkness is now clearly defined by the light.
As we talked through her word for the year, a word came to my mind. Now, before I tell you what I think my word might be for the year, I feel like I need to first tell you how I’ve felt in the past about the idea of a word over a year.
Every time I’ve heard about it, I’ve thought to myself, “that’s got to be so restricting. Choosing one word to dictate all your decision making. Why would anyone do that?” It seemed to me that choosing one word would limit every choice to be made. It would be like a cloud over the year, defining it, whether good or bad. But this year, my perspective of it is beginning to shift. I’ve heard about the OneWord365 from so many different voices that I’d begun to warm up to the idea. Perhaps having one word didn’t need to be restrictive, but a funnel through which to sift out what I should and shouldn’t allow space for in my life. A way to look for the light throughout the year.
I started thinking about having one word over the last couple of days. Then it was “kismet,” (as my Grandmother would say) someone texted me about it earlier in the day. Then Happy mentioned hers and asked if I had one. The idea began to look more positive to me. It could be a banner over my life, not a shackle.
While we talked, the word “abandon” came into my mind. We weren’t talking about abandon at all. But it just popped into my mind. Of course, she then asked me what my one word could be. Initially I replied, “discipline,” because, truthfully, I need that oh so badly in my life. I’ve never really been disciplined about anything (except maybe people pleasing, but I wouldn’t call that a discipline; a curse, maybe?). And while I think growing in self-discipline, like keeping our home tidy, monitoring our family calendar so we run it instead of the other way around, and making time to intentionally sit with the Lord. Those are all good things to grow in, but I don’t think “discipline” is my word.
I think it’s “abandon.”Definitions from dictionary.com
1) to leave completely and finally; forsake utterly; desert:
2) to give up; withdraw from; discontinue:
3) to give up the control of:
4) to yield (oneself) without restraint or moderation; give (oneself) over to natural impulses, usually without self-control:
I’m actually baring a bit of my soul here. Stay with me and don’t judge, k?
Remember that people pleasing I mentioned earlier? It is deeply engrained in me. I had older siblings (10+ yrs) and parents who were GIANT leaders in our community. Everything in me just wanted to be wanted and needed. Instead I remained silent as a kid because I often was just a tagalong and encouraged to stay in my room instead of being a part of what was happening in our home. My presence and voice were just a distraction or a nuisance. Just go along to get along OR try and be large so you somehow get noticed.
Then there have been some phrases said to me in my adulthood that have made me close in. Some conversations that have left me labeled as a “bulldozer,” doing things without permission and stepping on other’s toes. All I really wanted was to be helpful. I saw problems and fixed them (for which I had been lauded in the past).
So, this bubbly, helpful, courteous, cheerful girl straight up shut down.
I mean, shut down. For about two years. I was wounded. I was hurt. I was a puddle of insecurity and anger. I withdrew from my closest friends, because they were some that hurt me the most (though unintentionally). I spent many nights in a rage, with my husband as my closest confidant. And then I decided I really couldn’t trust anyone else.
And I began to conclude that my voice, one that I had believed God placed in me to bring glory to Him, was really just added noise. Unnecessary. Unwanted. An irritant. That my gifts, my heart of service, was really just a nuisance. That I was in the way. That I bothered people. That I really should just let other people through and let them do their thing unhindered by my ideas.
Wow – typing that out right now is cathartic and a big heartbreaking. And if I’m completely honest, all of that is often how I feel today. It’s a struggle. My husband knows this well and we call it my “shadow.” It’s the thing that wants to bring me down. I’m just waiting for someone to tell me to back off. I believe that everyone is thinking those things about me. And it’s really hard to move past it and believe anything different.
Which is why I think that the word abandon is my word for the year. I need to let go of all those thoughts. I need to remember what God says about me. And I just need to step out and follow HIS leading, not worrying about anything else.
Guys, I’ve been sitting on this paid blog site for an entire year. I haven’t posted since May of 2020. That’s 9mo of inactivity because I believed as Switchfoot says in one of their songs, “if we’re adding to the noise, turn off this song.” Why speak up? Why bring my gifts to the table. It’s just one more voice is the cacophony of noise all around. There are people more qualified, more eloquent, more gifted, more exuberant, and have a greater following than me. So, why should I speak up too?
Well, I should speak up because it’s what God calls me to.
When I heard the word abandon in my mind as Happy was talking, I saw a girl in a field, arms up in wonder and amazement with what surrounds her. She’s not ashamed or concerned with the thoughts of anyone around her. To her, what is before her is enough.
So, abandon. “To leave completely and finally.” I don’t know that I can say that I’ll leave the praises of man behind or that my insecurities won’t plague me anymore. But, like the funnel idea from earlier, I think that word will help me to solidify what is purposeful in my life. Am I allowing how I think someone will respond to dictate whether or not I post? abandon Am I going to shut my mouth when I think my idea might actually be helpful but I’m concerned that someone might be offended? abandon If I see a problem and am tempted not to fix it because it might step on someone else’s toes… abandon.
I used to be free. abandoned. unconcerned. And helpful! And somehow, some other words crept in and began to define me and reshape who I am. Aint nobody got time for that. There are things to do! God placed me here for a purpose and I’m convicted that I’ve been putting my talents in a box instead of putting them to good use. (The parable of talents has been on my mind a lot lately, not coincidently, I’m sure! A different blog post on that topic will come soon, I’d bet) I’m not going to allow the fear of others to force me to go into hiding. I’m done. abandon
So, yeah, I think that’s my word. abandon Hopefully that means you’ll be hearing from me much more often. Whether you actually care to or not. Maybe my voice will just add to the noise. Or maybe… just maybe… there’s some gold deep in me that’s going to help someone else to see the light. To get a different perspective and begin to see what once was shrouded in darkness, eclipsed in light.
Hap, thanks for being a part of my shift in perspective. Thanks for showing me the light. ~much love