I lied, this post is chatty. I promise to make the next few less wordy. But this one needs the length.
Last year I couldn’t decide on a “word” for the year. I tried to use several, and I lost focus about July. I was still trying to stretch and grow into God’s plans for me, and that I think I accomplished.
I am not really a resolution kind of girl. I never follow through on those. I am a list maker, so perhaps those count as goals? Yes, probably as goals. As last year waned, my life changed, and as I became introspective, one thought seemed to surface more and more: I want to do God’s will. As more and more of the artwork was faith based, as more and more of the blog posts were faith based as well, I looked at myself critically.
And not in a bad, depression way, but clearly. And specifically, I looked at my faith and my role as a Christian, or Christ follower or disciple, in particular. Moving churches , a new study, and looking back at many of the experiences that have shaped my faith helped precipitate this. I have been thinking a lot about what I believe, why I believe, how I believe, what is comforting worship to me vs. what others prefer, and how I practice what I believe. I want to be able to articulate the answers to all of those questions better.
I know that I have always had a deep faith in Jesus. I have questioned all sorts of doctrines and theologies, denominations, I went through a feminist stage in college, and the result is my faith has become my own, not just beliefs my parents or a church indoctrinated. I have always been a church goer, and served at each parish. I have always felt like I practiced religion, and yet I have had many people discount my faith as not worthy, not as good, not as deep, not as pure, not the same.
Why? So, other questions came to my mind. Does my faith show on the outside? Do I come across as a disciple or a hypocrite? Am I a Samaritan or a Pharisee? And do I question and judge the faith of others right back?
Which leads me to this year’s word and goal: OBEY. I want to really study what God planned for me. And not just stretch into it, but to accept it wholeheartedly and to run with it. Not what I think He wants, but what He wants. I used the good ole thesaurus to look up meanings and synonyms. I love assent. I am willingly giving over my life. I am going to comply with His rules, His expectations, His commands. I want my faith to be visible. I never want someone to question the sincerity of my faith ever again.
Be prepared. This might be a common topic this year.