One Word 2014


I’ve spent weeks thinking about a word for this year and I thought I had landed on discipline. I would devote 2014 to getting life in order, setting rules for myself, having a more rigid routine…all of which boiled down to one ugly word: control. It hit me that I wanted to focus on discipline because life feels out of control and discipline would allow me to restore some sense of order to it. But I’ve spent my entire life trying to control and every single time I finally find myself curled up in a teary ball giving up…because life isn’t found in a death grip.

In that same conversation with myself I realized that all I’ve desperately been searching for the past few months is to feel alive again. To be raw to joy and pain and everything in between – to simply be able to feel. As I’ve sat in a counselor’s office the last 8 months the “issue” has been I’m apathetic and that’s not me but I can’t figure out how to fix it.

The last three and a half years have been packed full of growth – emotional soul growth. There’s been a lot of hard work done to embrace feelings with courage and honesty. To accept reality for what it is – resisting the urge to judge it as good or bad. To let go of plans I had consciously and subconsciously made for my life and be okay with life unfolding as it comes. To give myself as much grace as I give others. 

They’ve also been packed full of life. Quitting a job, giving up a dream, moving to a new unknown city on a whim with no job and a Craigslist roommate, new church, new community, all new friends, losing old friends, losing new friends, learning what it is to love, learning what community is all about, new job – one I decided to create for myself, a lot of travel, and little to no rest. It’s been wonderful and exhilarating but also exhausting. I’ve been tired for a while as a result of it all but I’ve continued pulling myself up by the bootstraps as they say and trudging through.

But trudging is no way to go through life. So when I went looking for a new word I discovered revive. I was quite excited because it rings of joy and life. Then I went looking for the definition and something hit me: if revival brings back to life, death must happen first. Perhaps this word is going to be a little harder and a bit more painful than I thought. But it’s going to be worth it.

Revive: to bring back to life or consciousness; to impart new health, vigor or spirit; to restore to use, currency, activity, or notice; to restore the validity or effectiveness of; to renew in the mind; to present again

Here we are halfway through the first month of a new year & I’m finally finding a moment to compose these thoughts. After starting 2014 off recovering from the holidays only to get strep throat, revival is a very welcome thought! My hope for this year is that I get to catch my breath…and have time to take a few deep ones.