My One Word: release
All my life, I’ve been capable of doing whatever I set my mind to. Some might think this is a blessing, but in many ways, it can become more of a curse. It’s led me to a need to control or have influence in most everything in my life, because I CAN. I have become over-committed and over-responsible for so many things. I see a need, have the ability to do something about it, and conclude that I MUST be the one to do it. If something isn’t going well, it’s my fault and I redouble my efforts, because my effort has always been enough in the end. This completely defeats grace, and I become a Galatian, trying to accomplish God’s grace by my effort. Or, if I really can’t do something about it (something I’m seeing more and more as I mature), I stew and grumble and dwell on how wrong that is. I live in an African country where there are a lot of things that are “wrong” or unjust or simply nonsensical to my cultural worldview, and I can’t do anything about it. I realized that my sense of frustration in a lot of life was my lack of control over things I felt I should be able to do something about. I need to RELEASE – my expectations, my rights, my comfort, my situations, my family, my pride, my reputation, my need for approval, my control… On top of this, my oldest son is going to college in the US this year (we will still be in Africa), so RELEASE is taking on a whole new meaning for me this year. I need to pry my fingers open in all areas of my life, and allow a trustworthy God to handle those things outside of my control, accepting responsibility only for those things he wants me to do.