I just reread the post that explained my journey to picking a word for the year. If you are new to my blog, I share last year’s post with you to explain the process. I take this selection very seriously. For the past few years, I have had a piece of jewelry made with my word. You know you have encountered me on a particularly hard day if you notice that I have ‘wholeness’ AND ‘journey’ on my wrist and ‘gratitude’ around my neck. The strength that I find in the intention is purposeful and prayerful.
As I reflected on the journey of 2018, I was once again amazed. In some instances, this beautiful dance of life has been so plentiful. Both of my girls have blossomed and healed in some key areas this year. It has, however, been an incredible year of change for my parents (and therefore in many ways for us as children). With my dad in end stage renal disease, I learned an entirely new medical field as he tried one type and then settled into the rhythm of another form of dialysis. They also sold their house and moved to a senior living community. Some days, this journey was so very hard. Others, I marveled at their amazing tenacity and bravery to fight for every quality day. The other big journey of 2018 was my own bizarre medical situations. In the last 6 months, I have had two surgeries and two more unplanned medical hiccups. My body is still healing and the journey of next steps is unknown in some realms, but I’m beyond grateful for my ability to seek and receive the care I need. That privilege was not lost on me in 2018.
We are one hour from the turn to 2019 in Texas, so it is now time to move into the next season. As usual, I have spent many of my Advent prayers meditating on the word that will guide my heart this year. I thought I had decided on a word, but it was completely confirmed as I began to reflect in week 3 of my Advent writings. Welcome to JOY:2019. It all became abundantly clear when I pounded out the words on my keyboard for day 2.
I did not have to do anything. I did not have to change anything. I didn’t even have to pray more or eat better or clean up my mouth. In the breath of my creation, God provided me with all that I needed for joy. Joy is not circumstantial. Joy is not moody. Joy is found in realizing that by trusting in God, All Knowing, we have a one of a kind assurance embedded in our being.
Sure, I want to experience a little bit of the human glee that most use to define this three letter word, but the JOY that I am longing for this year is the recognition that in my Creator, I am wired for a ok-ness that far exceeds happy and cheerfulness. Because, friends, lets face it. 2019 will not be all lovelies. There will be pain and sorrow and heartache and illness and loss. My 44 previous New Year’s tell me that these things are coming. And, lord help, I cannot pretend that those things do not wear on the deepest and most tender roots of my being. What I long for in this year, my year of JOY, is a daily reminder of the miraculous presence of the wonder and treasure that I am to the Divine. And in that reminder, I pray that whatever happens in the year ahead, my heart will know that I am deeply, deeply loved. May that love, God’s love, be the JOY of 2019.