I had been pondering this past month, with the coming end of 2013. Pondering that I really had not felt a nudge, or heard a word from God concerning the New Year. I let this last month drift by without much fanfare at all.
I wrote in my journal on December 10, "Perhaps I am at a crisis of faith...but I feel nothing. No anger, no joy, no passion, no excitement, no expectation, no hope...I am in a state of limbo. A bleak existence. For further clarification, I'm not mad at God...I just no longer expect anything."
Limbo, indeed. The past year was like a slow starting forest fire that became an incinerator for many of the hopes, dreams and goals set in my heart. One continuous stop, drop and roll of a year putting out the fires that flared up from every side.
I had no idea of where I would end up or what was to come with a word like Release. But it left me wordless by the end of the year. From my journal, "Last year (2012) I felt like I was drowning. This year I feel like I am hanging."
So, as I considered and weighed what is to come, and what has passed, and sensing God's quietness, I assumed I had no word for the year. I mean, a word like Limbo, does not catapult one into brainstorming goals and dreams for a new year. So I accepted that God was done with parading me along with my fellow bloggers for this One Word theme for 2014. Honestly, after Less and Release...I wasn't exactly telling God to lay it on me.
But, as I was sitting with Him one morning (or afternoon, don't really remember), I was prompted in my reading to Romans 12:1-2. I had the sense that this was God's "word" for me for this year-and for always - but it was a timely reminder. So, that's not really one word, I thought to myself. Off the hook.
I began embracing this as my verse for the year and focus...and figured, meditating on His Word is never a bad thing, so may as well embrace this leading. Next thing I'm explaining to someone about how I am not having a "word" this year, and as I reiterated my verse, the weirdest thing happened. One Word, jumped out at me and I felt my heart do a flip up into my throat, back down to my gut and back into my chest. In a good way.
" I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." ~ Romans 12:1-2
Yup. I tried to deny it...but it was unmistakable. And merciful. Renewal. Because after Less, and Release...I mean, one does not just WALK INTO MORDOR, willingly! Renewal, seems a tad more optimistic than my previous words. I guess God knows when we are at the end of our rope!
A beautiful confirmation....
Later that evening, while walking by the Sea Wall with our dog and a friend Saturday night, God sealed this sweet deal with me. Adjacent to us, up popped what I thought was a seagull onto the wall. I said aloud, "That is one fat Gull." But, the minute the words left my lips, my eyes and brain coordinated and I realized I was not looking at any Seagull. Before our very eyes, looking directly at us with a luminous stare, was the most beautiful White Owl. I insisted we get as close as possible. Once we approached the bird, it flew up to the streetlight. Watching it fly upward from the wall after seemingly awaiting our acknowledgement was a beautiful gift that I accepted with joy!
Of course I went home and looked up what kind of owl that was and it happened to be a Snowy White Owl. Although I am not superstitious, I also had to look at some of the symbolism associated with owls. It made for some interesting reading, let me tell you! I will share that in another post.
Let me just share one small word that described the symbolism of an owl:
I love my God who is master of All and all creatures great and small.
Wishing you all a Happy New Year!
Here are a few posts on my One Word from 2013-Release:
Linking with these communities of Word Pickers: