I’m not one who likes to go along with the crowd. And I’m certainly not someone who has the staying power or discipline needed to stick with one thing for a long period of time. (My mom used to say that as much as I like to change things, like the colors of my rooms, it’s a miracle that Tim’s been around for this long. Yep, almost at 23 years of marriage and 25 years together. Frankly, it is kind of surprising. But I digress.)
For years, I’ve seen people writing about their One Word for the year. I mention it in my book. I’ve heard about the amazing insights people have found as they camped out on one concept for a year, studying and praying and writing and listening. Great concept, but not for me. I don’t have that kind of focus.
Except, here’s the thing I’ve learned about walking with God: I don’t always get to decide what is right for me. I don’t get to declare what I need. He knows, and He knows how to get right around all of my protests.
And apparently He gave me a word anyway. TURN. It is connected to the prayer insight I had on Christmas Eve, when I renewed my commitment to God. “I turn away… from turning away,” I prayed. And I knew deep down that was true and right and good. No more turning away from God. No more excuses.
I shouldn’t be surprised. I just wrote 60,000 words about The Art of Praying Upside Down, about turning things in a different direction so you can see clearly again. This year it looks like there will be a lot of turning going on around here.
Turning from fear — trusting that something better will come to Tim after losing his job last month, trusting that bills will be paid, that my work will provide, that he will find a job he loves. Maybe even something totally different.
Turning into a different kind of wife — as our roles adjust, as our schedules change, as our responsibilities are redistributed, as I learn to work from home with someone else in the house (a huge challenge for me).
Turning my faith into a habit — developing better discipline, becoming more steady and true in my prayer life. Wrestling with questions and ideas I haven’t even come across yet, which always strengthens my beliefs.
Turning into an author — I’ve turned in my manuscript and now I’ll be learning how to market myself and build my platform. Figuring out my next project and direction. Taking what I’ve done as a base and building on it.
Turning other people to God through writing — I’m starting to teach a new Sunday school class one week a month, trying to help other people discover God the way I have (or, really, whatever way He chooses to reveal Himself to them) — through the act of writing as prayer.
Turning into the person who wrote my book — everything I wrote I know to be true. My book is filled with life experiences and so much that I’ve learned. It’s all accurate. But I sense that it’s time to stop making excuses. To live it again, to live it more, now that I’ve written it. To live it more deeply, more thoroughly, more passionately, even more truly.
You know, basically just turning my whole life around. No problem. Easy schmeasy.
I’ll write more about my word later, but I’ll leave you with this. “Turn” is all about change. Revolution (as in radical change, not as in turning, although it is). Am I ready for this? Probably not. Do I have any idea what to expect? That would be a no. But that’s where I think He wants me. Off balance. Knowing I need to lean on Him to remain upright.
Last time I faced a really big trial (losing my mom), I didn’t handle it so well. I tried to keep my outward show of faith intact while I crumbled on the inside. It’s taken me years to get back to this place, to work past my feelings of betrayal and anger. So Lord, I beg of You — help me. As I struggle, let me face doubts head on. Let me turn to You with all of it — the good, the bad, and the ugly. Don’t let me hide from You. Don’t let me push You away. Turn me around when You need to. And turn me into the woman You made me to be. Amen.