That’s my One Word for this year.
Last year’s word was risk. And it had more ups and downs; more surprises than I thought was possible.
Rejoice might seem like a funny word for me to choose for this year. I’ve been told I’m quite an optimistic person. I’ve been known to bring smiles, laugh often, and always be happy. And while that can be true, my heart is not always in a state of rejoicing. Especially if a wrench is thrown into my plan; my desires; my relationships. It’s incredibly difficult for me to praise God, to rejoice, in the darkness. It’s hard for me to see good when I am hurt, angry, frustrated, disappointed.
If I’m most honest, it’s even harder for me to rejoice in past hurts, past darkness, past rock-bottoms. I all too easily hide behind the ‘you-can’t-understand’s, the ‘you-haven’t-been-there’s to justify my pain. I don’t rejoice in the blessings and faithfulness that I have seen God prove to me over and over again.
I’ve been griping about my word for a few weeks now, unhappy that I will be focusing on rejoicing in all areas of my life, no matter the circumstances, situation, or past. I keep ‘but’ing my word.
‘I would rejoice, but…’
‘I could praise God in this but…’
‘But how could I rejoice with this hurt?’
And so, I know this year is going to be a year of changing heart and thought patterns. Learning how to praise despite my ‘but’s. I joke that this word is going to be easy, to be too simple. That I get a year off from risk.
But deep down, I know it’s going to be a year of gutting parts of my heart and replacing them with gladness. It’s going to be a year of examining past darkness and current questions and praising God.
I must turn my bitterness into joy.
I must turn my negativity which I mask as realism to exultation.
I must turn my hurt into gladness.
Here’s to dancing when I feel like crying. To praising when I do not understand. To raising my hands with gladness to my Father when all I want to do is curl up and cry. Here’s to shifting my attitude.
What’s your One Word?