I have a love/hate relationship with the New Year. Instead of feeling hope for the days ahead I feel pressure to perform – to accomplish bigger and better things than last year. And there’s always a little bit of sadness as one year ends and another begins. Endings have never been easy for me.
Around December 26th I found myself in the same place as last year – fighting depressions desire to latch on and not let go. And my heart – it had become a little hard between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
I wondered how the new year could possibly be better.
Christmas came and went and high holiday expectations robbed me of joy – again.
Sickness – first the stomach virus and then the flu – ruined our Christmas plans.
I was bitter and resentful.
I was lonely.
I wanted to shake my fist at God.
I almost didn’t pick One Word this year.
I questioned if I should continue blogging.
But one word kept coming to my mind.
It wasn’t the word I wanted, so I didn’t announce it right away.
Because it’s not necessarily a fun word – not like love or joy or faith.
But I know it’s the word I need this year.
Being intentional takes a lot of work.
And when depression threatens to strangle you, working hard is the last thing you want to do.
When you’re weary and worn and bitter, you question if God wants to give you the things you so desperately desire.
Because I certainly don’t feel worthy of them.
But if I want things to change than intentional is what I have to be.
These are the areas I will focus on:
- Finding a church home.
- Finding community.
- Being more intentional in motherhood.
- Being more intentional in my marriage.
- Being more intentional in my relationship with God.
And as I wrestle with God over this word and my ability to move forward into the new year with hope, He reminds me that there is only one way I can pull this off.
And it has nothing to do with striving more or trying to improve these areas in my own strength.
There’s another word that I need to focus on this year.
It’s the only way I can be intentional and witness the change I so desperately desire.
It’s one word. One person. The only way.
And far too often I try to do it on my own and I’m drowning.
Drowning in unmet expectations.
Drowning in hopeless days.
Drowning in loneliness.
So I’ll be intentional in 2015, with the help of Jesus.
I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)