My word for 2017 is Abide.
It has been for the last two years, but with different intention- a focus on different aspects of the word.
In the first half of 2016, it was learning to be, rather than to do– a human being, not a human doing.
Then it was learning to be with Christ. To stay in his presence, to linger longer there in prayer, not because I had to, but because I wanted to. I learnt to sit with my emotions, give them to Jesus and be transformed through the act of surrendered trust.
The latter half of 2016, was a call to remain– to stay in the tension or the struggle, without running away or trying to fix it.
This has been my practice until recently- until May, when God declared that “It is finished.”… Referring to my three year season of struggle, marked by pain and perseverance. It was a second birth- a journey of healing to wholeness, which I affectionately refers to as, my “dark night of the soul,” thanks to When the Heart Waits by Sue Monk Kidd.
Now, I feel a new season approaching- a new story beginning to unfold, still embodied by my word: Abide.
These words are rising from my soul, an anthem and meditation:
Remain: in peace
Stay: in the moment
Be with: your people
So, in a brave act of obedience, of listening to my hearts desires, I will honour my longing and the call of Christ within me. I will abide.
Practically, that looks like fasting social media throughout my 4 week sabbatical from work.
My companion on this pilgrimage is “The Digital Detox Guide” by Morgan Day Cecil. (Currently on sale!). I just love the way she describes the process of unplugging- of detoxing from our digital world:
Love begins and ends in the act of paying attention. We give so much love to our mobile devices and our screens. What if we shared some of that energy with other things in our life? What would happen if for one month we set the intention to pay a little less attention to the exciting things happening online, and a little more attention to the wonderful, quieter things happening in our heart and in the hearts of those we love? – Morgan Day Cecil | The Digital Detox Guide
This isn’t my first rodeo.
I’ve been intentionally fasting social media for years: on weekends and vacations, for instance and setting boundaries around the number of times and hours of day, I use it.
It’s been a mark of discipline- something I believe God honours and is imperative to the Christian walk.
But this time feels different, like an invitation to a new way of life- of living with higher perspective.
And I want it. I’m ready.
In the same way, Simplicity Parenting gave me the freedom to enjoy motherhood again, and Rhythms of Rest have given me my health and joy back, I sense new freedom on the horizon- from numbing distraction and the anxiety that embodies hyper-connectivity.
My prayer is this:
Lord, teach me to abide: to remain in peace, regardless of circumstance or emotion or volume. To stay in the present moment- my moment- each one a gift of grace from you. Help me unwrap it with wonder and curiosity. To be with my people, loving them and letting them love me in return.
I receive all of what you have for me, in advance and I surrender to the transformational work of The Holy Spirit in me. Use all of it for my good and your glory. Remember me- this brave act of obedience in a distracted world- and bless it. I ask boldly, in the name of Jesus, my saviour, lover and friend.