BRAVE Not-so-New World

Happy New Year!  I hope you have had a great celebration over the last couple of weeks.  I took a little time off.  I hope you had the chance to do likewise.  However it’s back to school, back to work and back to routine.  So here I sit.

I’m not sure I really want to write this.  But if I don’t exorcize these words spinning in my brain, there will be no peace.  It will keep writing itself in my head.  Better to get it down in black and white.

The start of the new year causes all kinds of talk about resolutions, changes.  It’s a sweeping out of the old and ushering in a fresh start.  Blank calendars full of beautiful pictures.  I’m not sure what’s more pretty, the pictures or the blank spaces! A new semester of school.  New classes.  Clean slates.

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I don’t really get caught up in it anymore.  I don’t make resolutions.  I didn’t need another reason to disappoint myself! How ‘bout you?  Over the last few years I’ve heard about praying for verses and one words that God gives you for the upcoming year.  They become your theme or motto for the year.  It’s intrigued me.

A couple of years ago I prayed for a verse and God gave me this one from Mark 5:36.  “Be not afraid, only believe.”  If it is familiar it’s because I’ve used it here before.  It’s been a theme in my life over the last couple of years.  Then the last year or so it was just Believe.

As the calendar pages flipped through 2014 there was rumblings of change.  I wrote about it last spring and summer.  As the year ended, a word was extended to me.  A silent engraving on my mind.  It was a God-thing.

I must admit I tried to run away from the word.  Which is so ridiculous when I tell you what the word is.  My one word for 2015 is Brave.  I’m running away from the word brave!  I didn’t want that word.  Because the fear sets right in.  If that’s my word, what scary thing is coming that I need to be brave for?  This word is so wrong for me!

I’ve spent the first few days of 2015 in fear, not bravery.  I thought I’d wait until the end of 2015 to write this.  Because then I’d know what the year had brought about.  It was the safest bet.  Yet as I walked through Sunday that word cleaved to me.  It is my word.  I need to own it.

There is still fear.  Being brave doesn’t mean absence of fear.  Yes there could be scary things in 2015.  Things I don’t want. Ignoring the word isn’t going to not make it happen, like some talisman.

What does brave look like?  For me, besides the worry of the unknown, there are some things in the future I need to deal with bravely.  On the horizon is something that can go either two ways.  I can fail or I can succeed.  If I fail, I need to fail bravely.  To not let it defeat or define me.  My response must be brave.

On the flip side, succeeding requires courage.  I will have to go way out of my comfort zone, bravely.  It scares me just thinking about it.  It’s one of those, “You’ve got the wrong person” moments.  I’m looking around for the other woman who will do a much better job.

This year will be shaped by the word Brave.  There will most likely be some blogs about it.  It’s a complex word.  We think we know what it means but I think it goes so much deeper than the surface meaning.  I guess I’ll find out.  And you?  What are you shaping your year around?  Is there a word or a verse that will be your compass this year?

As I’m writing this and flipping through my journal, I find a verse from January 2010.  It wasn’t my verse that year but I think it is this year’s verse.  Exodus 33:21  God said, “Look, here is a place right beside me.” (Solo Remix devotional by Eugene Peterson)

I think I can be Brave when He’s inviting me into that place right beside Him.

If you have a word or a verse for 2015 please feel free to share in the comments section.  I would love to hear about it!

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