My one word for 2013: authority.
I will remember and reclaim the person I was made to be, taking back authority over my gifts and strengths.
For too long I have forgotten I have something to offer, so shaken was I by the wide and rocky landscape of life post-graduation. I have felt as though I were wandering aimlessly, certain I was unqualified for anything interesting in life, but now I will try to dust off and re-awaken these truths: I have talents. I have gifts. I have strengths. I have something to offer to my church, my city, my world, my friends.
I will make choices and decisions, remembering I have authority over the direction and content of my life.
This doesn't mean trying to control my destiny, or even trying to control much at all (though I will likely fight this battle of control to the grave--I'm always chanting, let it go). What I mean is that I have felt trapped, particularly in my job, and all my efforts to leave feel as though I am trying to speak underwater--there is noise, effort, but nothing comes of it, no action or meaning is conveyed, no fruit borne. After a few frustrated attempts to change directions, job-wise, I realized I'd started waiting until all the conditions were ripe before beginning. The mindset went something like, why try again if things still aren't going to work out? Better to wait until a sure success turned up (because real life gives us guarentees, right?). The end result was to feel totally trapped, because I kept waiting for everything to line up for me to take a leap, and it wasn't happening.
In 2013, I will live with the authority to try new or different paths, even when I don't feel ready or fully prepared (starting 2013 off with marriage is about the best way I could have picked to start something without feeling perfectly ready, eh?). I will own my authority to make decisions about what I want to participate in, and what I must decline; I will give a closer listen to my own intuition, my sense of what excites me and makes me come alive. I get to play a part in deciding what I will do with my time, my money, and yes, my work--and I call that having authority in my own story.
I will learn to walk in my authority as a daughter of the King. (Is anyone really surprised Sarah Bessey inspired me on this one?)
It's easy to feel I am too much, too intense, too emotional, that it would be better for everyone if I would just quiet down and let the others do the articulating and the dreaming. And so in many instances, I have. I have sat down to watch and listen, a spectator in the sidelines. It has been good to listen, to learn from the wiser ones (and even the fools), but it seems I have forgotten I can join the conversation. I'm afraid of offending people, and I want to make everyone happy. My fellow female readers might resonate with this sentiment:
"In general women are socialized
to be fair-minded and aware of not stating our opinions too boldly (lest we
offend or alienate) and to make sure everyone stays friends. This isn’t a
completely bad thing, but as a result most of us have never learned to hold a
position or stand firm in an argument because we are too busy trying to make
sure people like us." Quoted here.
But suppose I have something to add to the conversation? Suppose the Holy Spirit has given me the authority to do some Kingdom work here on earth, and I have been convinced I am merely to watch on as other daughters bring their fire and their compassion and their gentleness?
Sarah Bessey, preach to my spirit: "It’s the authority of Love. It’s the authority of grace. It’s the authority of being a daughter of the King. It’s the authority of living loved, walking close to the Father, knowing that when I take a step or make a move, it’s the authority of paying attention to the Voice in my ear, saying this is the way, walk in it, and remaining faithful to that Voice."
And finally--I will give authority in and over my life to the correct parties, and take it back from those who don't deserve it any longer.
I have given authority to clothes and fashion, to looking put-together, to luxury and comfort. I have given authority to body pressures, to upward-mobility, to money. I have given authority to all sorts of people, my people-pleasing ways in full force, allowing their opinions or their words to rattle me when they really don't deserve such special treatment in my life.
I will take this authority back. I will work to recognize the wrong or twisted sources of authority demanding things of me (more of this, less of that, get it together, this is what makes you count). I will not make my life about collecting pretty things or trying to impress someone.
I will give authority to the servant King, the one who poured out his own authority to serve his creation, the one who turned everything on its head. I will give the Father the authority to tell me what is important, what is deserving of my time and efforts and money. I will not allow his voice to be drowned out. I will recognize his authority, because his words are not suggestions. They are a foundation, a pathway to true living.
So there is is, the theme around which I plan to shape my days for this next season. I can't make it all come to pass, of course, but I can say it aloud and attempt to be intentional. I can ask for accountability, and try my best to remember when the time come to make actual decisions in 2013. And I will wait to see how God takes my ideas, my half-hopes, my ragged yet determined spirit, and breathes life into it all.
Have you chosen a word?