I’ve always made fun of people who choose a word for the year. It’s cheesy and unrealistic since you don’t know what’s actually headed your way. But last year, the word “brave” kept harassing me. It showed up around every bend, and it somehow forced itself into becoming my word for the year. I wanted to be Daniel in the lions’ den brave, but also brave in all of my thousand little decisions every day. Last Sunday my friend shared the story of Daniel and the lions with the kiddos, and it reminded me of my decision to be brave this past year.
2015 broke me in ways I could never have imagined. 2016 showed me how to be brave in the midst of uncertainty. I haven’t written anything around here since June, and it’s because that last half of 2016 was a doozy for the Bast family. I won’t share our ins and outs here, but I will say that my whole family was brave, and I’m especially proud of the grace they all displayed in the midst of some intense physical pain, and some equally as intense emotional pain. Everyone was incredible, but my mama was the shining star in all of this. Somehow she’s still smiling and gracious and goofy – and not an ounce of it is forced. Hero status, you guys.
For me, 2016 brought some significant changes. Our family lost someone we love. I found someone I love. I finally took the leap to go back to school and have completed one whole semester of seminary!
Now it’s 2017, and we’re writing these “word of the year” things again. And there’s a huge part of me (the sassiest part) that wants to mock these types of declarations. Yet here I am with another pesky word flying around in my brain:
In 2017, I want to be steadfast.
I want to cling to the lessons the past two years have taught me. I want to be open to further healing and constant learning. I want to be stubborn when it comes to loving people in my life, even if it would be far easier to cut ties and run. I want to be consistent and reliable (words that have not always described me in the past). When I ask, “Is this crazy?” in regards to going back to school, I will answer, “Yes, but it’s going to be worth it.” When everything is uncertain and it feels too hard and overwhelming, I will trust that God is in the midst of it all, gripping my hand tightly, telling me to hold steady.
“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58