In years past, I have had little trouble deciphering the theme God intends for the next year. This year, however, has been more difficult. I narrowed it down to two, but was stumped. As I prayed, I felt that there were just so many characteristics of God that He wants to grow in me. I was hit-- err--struck with one word that encompassed all of the ones I was considering:
Awestruck: To be filled with awe, overwhelmed. That is what I feel God is whispering about 2016. This past year has indeed been a Freedom Filled 2015. By God's grace, I have made strides in so many areas of my life (RELATED: Unhinged). I am more free than I have ever been and I feel like God has brought me back to life again.
Yet, that freedom must be maintained, and I also recognize there are numerous areas of my life where I've yet to take back from the enemy. It is hard work! Without a doubt, I know I have worked harder in 2015 than any other year of my life. It has been so worth it, but it hasn't been without cost.
I have been met with anxiety and fatigue, fear and loneliness. And amid the struggle, I have imperfectly clung to the Lord. At many times, I've been angry with myself because of how imperfectly I've done so, but His grace has swept me up time and time again this year. As a friend reminded me at church last week, God's faithful even when we are not. Even when we feel weak and far from Him, He is ever near.
But I want to be awestruck again. I long to have that childlike faith again that charges head-on into the battle of 2016, with my eyes on Christ.
I'm emerging from 2015 with battle scars and a weary heart, and I need to be in awe of God again. I've always loved Psalm 27 for this very reason. And my heart, like David's, longs only for more of God this next year.
One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple.
This year, God wants my heart. He wants the hopes of my heart that have dried up like a wilted flower, crushed by the weight of tribulation. If there's one thing I've learned this year: It's that the grace of the Lord truly is new every morning and it's certainly new every year. That grace and presence has been here all along, but it's time for me to seek after it with all I've got.
The root of freedom, is adoration of the One who sets us free. That's why my theme this year is An Awestruck 2016. Because only the Lord can heal my wounds and bring greater freedom, and I long to be more in awe of Him.
I encourage you to come with me on my journey this year. It won't be pretty and it won't be perfect, but that's life.