Back when I started this blog in 2013, my goal was to use this platform to express gratitude. Yet, it has morphed into so much more than that. I have been able to use these digital pages to share my heart as it relates to faith, family, running, travel, and more.
But one things remains the same: Each year, I ask God to reveal to me a “focus word.” And He has always done so very clearly; so clearly, in fact, that I thought I had this year’s word back in October. It was only last week, when I began to formulate my thoughts on this year’s theme, that the Spirit took me one level deeper.
I thought my word was “sacrificial.” Turns out, my word for 2020 is loved.
Awareness of my selfish tendencies is nothing new, but God impressed it upon my heart the past six months or so. I began asking God to help me live a more sacrificial life, but my frustration over my lack of progress gave way to greater truth.
See, a lot of things can inspire a singular selfless act. But a sacrificial life, which I long to live, is born from a place of confidence. Someone who consistently demonstrates a heart of sacrifice is only doing so because they know they don’t have to grab hold of their pattern of life. They live and give freely because they know who they are–and whose they are.
So, a sacrificial life can only be lived when we know that we are loved by God.
A lot of things can inspire a singular selfless act. But a sacrificial life, which I long to live, is born from a place of confidence.
And that, friends, is something that hasn’t sunk from my brain to my heart.
Performing (athletically, professionally, relationally, spiritually, etc.) gives me a serious high. It gives me false confidence and fickle pride. It also brings a sense of security because trying to earn love is productive and esteemed in our culture. We applaud those who “help themselves” and are “go-getters.”
But that’s not how God’s economy works. He knows all our “lofty accomplishments” and dismal screw-ups; and He loves us anyway. So He asks us to skip the niceties and share our gritty reality with Him. And guys, God wants us to come as we are because He loves us as we are, because He will not begin molding us more into His image until we lay down our stubborn pride and admit we’re fractured wisps of flesh.
A Loved 2020
So that’s my hope and prayer for 2020. This year, I want to lay down my false-ideals and fears over what God thinks of me, and trust what He says about me. I am treasured. I am redeemed. I am loved.
And so are you.
Somewhere along the hardened road of life, our blissful joy has aged. As children, we ran to mom and dad, pleading for attention or a hug or a funny joke. Then, we grew into a state of self-consciousness. We wondered, “Am I too needy?” “Does this person really want to hang out with me?” “Am I wasting everyone’s time by being here?”
He will not begin molding us more into His image until we lay down our stubborn pride and admit we’re fractured wisps of flesh.
Here is God’s word to you (and me!): You aren’t perfect and you aren’t a mistake. You are deeply loved, and it’s time you grab hold of that truth and let it transform your life. And friends, that’s when we’ll become more like Jesus; not when we whip ourselves into shape, but when we scramble to Daddy’s arms and remind ourselves that His love for us never fails and his love for us is always enough.
Will you join me? This year, let’s proclaim: We are loved.
One thought on “A Loved 2020”
Thanks to your challenge to pick a word for the year, I found Abba Father for 2019 and Emmanuel God with us for 2020. I’m just realizing last year was about realizing how loved I am and I’m looking forward to understanding more of how He’s with me. Keep up the encouragement Sister! We ARE loved much more than we can ever comprehend, but Apostle Paul says we can understand by the Spirit.