As tradition with my friends, we always come up with a word to describe the year. Typically at the end of the year we reflect on the past year and come up with a word for the next. Usually it’s something we can sense the Lord is preparing us for, something He wants us to focus on, or just what we feel like the year will be. For the sake of context…
2009: I don’t remember what my word for 2009 was- it might have been love or something gooey like that because I fell madly in love with my main man, or something like two-faced because I had a loss of a dream, but the birth of a new one…I don’t know. But I came up with the word for 2010- patience. I knew 2010 would bring hopefully engagement and a new job, but I didn’t know when. That was fun.
2010: The year DEFINITELY was a year of patience. So by the end of this year my insanity had set in deep, and I was more into thinking about what other people thought of me, so I decided my word for 2011 would be intentional, since that sounded cool and thoughtful. Whatever.
2011: Intentional it was not. I changed it to hard. I decided 2012’s word would be stability: no new nothing. Literally.
So looking back on 2012, it was stable in some ways. I switched from 4th grade ESL to 1st grade, which was a huge difference but still a blast (love my kiddos with my whole heart). But nothing on the outside was happening and I struggled with anger about it. I wanted life to be exciting, adventurous, and I wanted to do big things for the Lord. One weekend in particular was rough…I called Bobby, hysterical, and proceeded to unleash years of frustration about how I wasn’t the person I thought I would be, and I was disappointed in myself. I still feel bad about that, because nothing is his fault, but I sometimes look back on that pivotal decision to give up A-land and stay in Memphis. But it was clearly the Lord who literally sat me down and had a conversation with me about it back in 2009- it wasn’t my own thoughts. He knew before it all began.
The more I’ve thought about it, I’ve seen that it’s not always other people I’m trying to impress- I’ve been wanting to impress 22 year old Katie. I used to be a lot more critical in thinking life had to be a certain way to be pleasing to the Lord. Nobody taught me that…I just thought my ideas were better.
This year two very important people in my life gave me a word- roots. And it just so happened that they gave it to me independently of each other at two different times. Then the Lord brought me to this:
“Thus says the Lord: Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord. He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land.
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust IS the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
Jeremiah 17: 5-8
Thank you Jesus for friends who speak your truth to me, who fight for YOUR glory in the lives of your people. Another friend reminded me that if this year has been about showing Christ’s love to ONE person…it is still worth it. It may not look grand and impressive to some on the outside, but it is worthy in the Lord’s eyes. He is in control, and I trust that.
2013’s word is center. It might sound hokey, but I have this renewed sense of desperate need to keep Christ center of my life, to every day take time to speak that truth to myself, and to also remind myself who I am. Let the roots be deep and may I be genuine, with Christ as the center of everything.
Sidenote: Bobby’s word for 2012 was patience. His word for 2013 is growth.