It’s true. Four days into 2019 I changed my word of the year. In December I was prepping my PowerSheets, and I came up with the word establish. I liked that word. It linked up with my goals for the year–things I wanted to accomplish–like establishing our new home, establishing a new training plan for the races I wanted to complete this year, establishing better rhythms with my girls in the morning and at night. These things felt very good to my Enneagram 1 self. Changing, Improving, Reforming.
But then on January 4th I was at my counseling session. (I started going back to counseling in October.) I was telling my counselor that the blindsided feeling I faced when Ethiopia announced their suspension of inter-country adoption right after we got our last piece of paperwork to go get our girl was following me. A couple more things happened last year that reinforced that blindsided feeling–losing my uncle eight months after he was diagnosed with ALS and some stuff that happened at our old church. I realized that I was waking up every morning waiting to be blindsided again, and that wasn’t a healthy spot for me to be in.
My counselor asked me to talk about when I feel most at peace, and I told her for me it’s on a run or a bike ride. Somehow when my legs are doing a repetitive motion, my brain gets a chance to see the big picture, and somehow being outside surrounded by things growing, the Holy Spirit starts weaving things together for me so I can see God’s sovereignty over my life in new ways. My counselor asked me what I felt at the end of a run or ride. I thought for a second and the word that came to mind was held. I feel completely seen and completely loved, not because of any pretend perfection but just because I have a Father who loves me unconditionally. I feel secure not because I know what hard things are coming but because I know I have a Father who will never leave me.
I left my counseling session and ran to Lowe’s to pick out paint chips, and while I was comparing various shades of greige I realized my word of the year needed to be held. With my personality, there’s no worry that I might not achieve this year. No worry that checklists might not get made or tasks accomplished. No, I wake up ready to go on those. But I realized what I might miss out on was being held by my Heavenly Father. Taking my fragile broken heart and letting him heal me. Taking my racing, to-do list self and letting Him give me rest. And a very literal holding of hands with my man and our girls.
So, while it’s the most normal time of the year to accomplish and achieve, this year I’m letting go and leaving undone. Every day I want to not finish something or mess something up. A strange goal, I understand, for personalities different than mine. But this feels necessary and healthy for me because all of this links up with my understanding on a heart level the grace my Savior bought for me when He died for me. To live striving for perfection is to abandon grace. When I say something awkward and wonder if people will still like me, when I really, really burn the meatballs for dinner, when I tell someone about counseling, when I have to apologize to my girls or my husband, when I admit I need help, every one of those is an invitation to be held by my Heavenly Father.