Believing for “Brave.”

There was a time that I welcomed New Years with hopeful declarations. Words that I believed the Lord had placed on my heart and asked me to pursue Him for the development of. Words that weaved themselves in and out of every domain of my life. So much further reaching than a single resolution.

It’s been 4 years since then. 4 years since I led my class of third graders in choosing a word to declare over their own year. We crafted construction paper self portraits with New Years party hats and written responses about their chosen words. I spent the night before they made their projects cutting out the pieces of my own example and praying about my word. With a quiet confidence I had written “present” across my paper with a fat Crayola marker.

Just a month after declaring presence as my priority, I learned of a baby girl barreling her way into the world. I don’t know that I thought much of my word after that. Every thought was only her. For the 3 years she was earth side , I remained engulfed in her world, wanting to give her the best of me and to help her meet her every goal. I quit my job, put my phone away, and remade my life to be with her. I learned every day how to live fully with less so I might know her more. I never chose another New Years word.

Yesterday I saw a sweet friend post online asking her followers what their word for 2023 would be. I heard myself audibly scoff as the thought came to my mind, “survive.” But as quickly as I had reacted the Lord rushed in to soften my heart. He reasoned with me that I was sensitive to this question because I was feeling so out of control in my own life, like I had not been able to choose a new word to focus on for the last 3 years. What I was not understanding was that, for all those years, “present” was still the very word I was called to. The gift of being wide awake, fully aware of what was most important every day of my daughter’s short but mighty life.

With that understanding now comes the invitation to trust Him for a new word. So, in 2023, as I learn to carry my daughter’s legacy and live in a way that brings her eternal reward, I choose to believe the Lord that I can carry on BRAVE.

(Originally posted December 31, 2022)

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