Find a word to focus on for the year, they said. It will be fun and easy, they said.
Except for me. I struggled. I was struggling because I did not have my “oh-so-famous” one word to focus on for 2017 prior to going to the Bible journaling retreat I was attending for the weekend. That was a challenge for me. I always strive to be prepared ahead of time. But this time I was just lost. I did not want to just pick a random word that I sorta-kinda liked and thought would be good for me to focus on this year. I was searching for more. I wanted God to show me what I needed to work on. I wanted to know the one thing (among many, for sure) that I needed to pay attention to and seek out more than anything this upcoming year.
A marvelous thing happened at that retreat as I was reading Matthew 11:25-29 and pondering what it meant to rest in the Lord. Then, it hit me. It was as plain as the words in my Bible. A soft whisper in my head uttered the word “surrender.” I knew in that moment that was my focus word.
So, quick story…I struggle with prayer (I know right, gasp!). I am not really sure why I struggle with prayer but it does not come easily or naturally. I want my prayer life to grow deeper with the Lord. I want to pray more. I want my conversations with God to be a constant, all-day experience.
Coming to this painful realization (because, every Christian should have prayer down to a science, right?) I had to come to terms with one ultimate truth: I cannot change my habits on my own. WHAT?! NO!? Truth is, I have been relying on myself to change this struggle of mine when I cannot make that happen. This is not just a “Casey issue.” This is a heart issue.
So, this year I will surrender my control to the Lord. I will surrender my desire to do it all on my own. I will step back and not let my pride get in the way. I will understand that I cannot “fix” my problems. I can, however, surrender them to the Lord. He will give me rest (Matthew 11:25-29). My prayer (perhaps, my plea) is for God to reroute my heart to simply come to Him.
I know this will not be easy. I know that I will fail. I fail the Lord far too often. I’m thankful for His grace and His patience with me, His child. I am grateful that He does not stop loving me when I struggle. I wait with eager anticipation to hear God tell me the things I need to surrender to Him.
What is your one little word for the year?
Is there an area of your life where you need to surrender to God?
What does a surrendered life to God look like?