Happy new year to you and yours! I hope it was as lovely and relaxing (and if not relaxing, at least as lovely) as ours. We just sat on the couch drinking coffee, talking about our hopes for 2014, and cuddling with our little girl.
If you follow me on Instagram, you might already know how I felt about 2013. It was a rough one. I remember feeling a terrible sense of dread during the last week of 2012 and I couldn't shake it no matter how hard I tried. I think part of it was my own fear taking over, my own confusion about what was going on in our lives at the time (new house, lost job, uncertainty everywhere) and another part was the inkling that the next twelve months were going to test me in ways I had never been tested.
But I made it through. We made it through. And for 2014 my prayer is that I will hold onto the truth of what God has shown me about myself.
That is my word for this year: Truth.
When first considering what word I'd choose to represent the journey of the coming 12 months, I thought about courage and faith and healing. But the word truth settled on me like a comforting blanket. It encompasses all the other words I want to be. Without truth, I can't have courage. I can't be healed. I can't have faith.
This year, I long to see myself the way my Jesus sees me. The other day, I was listening to a podcast by our pastor, Andy Stanley, and something he said filled my spirit with an incredible lightness. It was one of those things that kind of releases you in a way you didn't realize you needed releasing. He said that before the Spirit comes to dwell within us, we are slaves to sin. We are like Adam. And what's true about him is true about us. But when Christ comes into our hearts and offers redemption, what is true about Him becomes true about us. His goodness. His love. His strength. His faith. We are now filled with the ability to be everything He was on earth and more. And isn't that true? Isn't that what Jesus told His disciples before He died?
Every day, I look at my husband and our daughter and I feel afraid of messing it all up. All my life, I've been an expert at guilt. I think I was always so afraid of disappointing God as a child that I never let myself be okay with mistakes. Or being human. Every negative emotion or thought meant something must be wrong with me. And I've carried that with me through every stage of life. But I don't want to anymore. It's such a heavy load, one I want desperately to release so I don't pass it onto my baby girl. She deserves all that is good and pure and TRUE. And who will she learn those things from if not from me? From us?
This year, I pray for truth above all else. I pray to see myself the way I truly am and not the person I'm afraid of becoming. Last night, I read something in the memoir The Middle Place where the author discusses her relationship with her outgoing, loving, Irish-Catholic father:
"In my case, he sees me as I would like to be seen. In fact, I'm not even sure what's true about me since I've always chosen to believe his version."
This is the kind of relationship I want with Jesus. It's the kind of relationship I want my daughter to have with me. This is my greatest hope for 2014.