I did something this year that I had heard about others doing for a long time but had never really done myself. Back in January, not really knowing what the year ahead would hold, I spent time in prayer asking God to give me a focus, goal, or word for the year. A “theme” to my year, if you will.
The definition of embrace as a verb is, “accept or support (a belief, theory, or change) willingly and enthusiastically.”
That was the word that came to me fairly quickly. After 2015 was consumed with my new normal of stepping back from a professional career that I loved, becoming a mom, figuring out what it meant to be a parent, and not sleeping through the night for 11 months straight, I finally felt like I might be able to take a breath starting in the new year. I wanted a challenge, but I also wanted comfortable, a routine, stability. So God told me to embrace…
Embrace where I was in life.
Embrace the gifts He had given our family.
Embrace new friendships.
Embrace new ways to serve.
Go figure, it didn’t take long for God to really shake things up and cause me to doubt and wonder how much of this “embracing” I could really do. I wanted to cower or hide – the exact opposite of embracing.
Luke turned 1. New baby on the way. Big and intense discussions about future plans.
Embrace wrestling with hard things.
Embrace being humbled.
Embrace “blooming” even if it wasn’t where I wanted to be planted.
Embrace “no” and “not now”.
Embrace God’s plans being bigger and better than yours.
Embrace the unknown.
Almost six months later, I realize that there is so much more that God wanted and wants to teach me about this concept of “embracing.” I knew it would be an important word to really live this year, but I don’t think I really knew to what extent. He has such a desire for me to embrace Him fully, and to give everything to Him. It isn’t about how I handle the things or situations (good or bad) that He gives me to embrace, but how I turn them over to Him; how I seek to honor and glorify Him through them.
I’m anxious, but content, about what God wants me to embrace in this second half of 2016. May he continue to return my eyes and thoughts to Him when I think I can embrace life by myself!
What is God asking you to embrace today? This year? This summer?
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”” Deut. 31:6