Friday, January 10, 2020

Welcome to 2020!

So, I had this post all written up about my one word for 2020. I only had a couple more sentences to add, and then I was going to hit the publish button. It was fitting--a strong word, one that would add to my "I can do it myself" mentality that I've had pretty much since birth.

But God.

He has this way of stepping right in the middle of my plans. It probably sounds horrible to admit, but it gets really frustrating at times. You see, I (probably not unlike you) like things to go the way I have them all mapped out in my head. I'm an analytical person, so every decision I make is researched and planned and debated before it ever gets put into play. I consider all the logistics and make sure that I'm making the best decision that will work out best for anyone and everyone involved...or so I like to think. If I'm being honest, it's more that I just want to be in control.

Or maybe it's that I want to look like I'm in control when everything inside me is threatening to spin out of control. I over analyze everything in an attempt to make it look like I have it all together because I can't bear the thought of letting somebody else see me doing something that I may not have mastered. I'm fine with the idea that practice makes perfect and the only way to get good at something is to do it over and over again, but I'm terrified of being judged as somehow inadequate.

Here's a hard thing for me to admit--most of the time, I feel like I'm a fraud who is going to be found out. I have to show other people that I can hold it all together and do all the things because all too often I see myself as inadequate.

So what in the world does this earth-shattering (okay, so definitely not a shock to people who know me) confession have to do with my one word for 2020? 

I was driving to work yesterday morning, stressing out about having to stand up in front of people and talk not just once but twice in the same day.  That probably sounds insane to people who know I stood in front of a classroom of teenagers and taught for 5 years, but public speaking is easily my biggest fear. I have a genuine physiological reaction--my heart races, my voice quivers, and a glowing red rash starts on my chest and makes its way up until I closely resemble a lobster fresh from the pot. I was listening to my worship playlist on Spotify, trying to distract myself, and this song came on:

 

My thoughts turned to the word I had picked for the start of this decade, and I realized my focus was wrong. I had chosen a word that reminded me that I could be strong no matter what is thrown my way, a word to cling to as a reminder that I could hold it all together and face whatever comes. As I listened to the song, though, my eyes threatened to tear up (if you know me, you know how much I fight that threat). The word I had picked? It was an excuse for me to fight on my own. It was a way of saying once again that I can do it myself, or in the words of MercyMe, "I'll overcome by my own strength."

So, my theme for 2020 as we move into a new decade that promises more change for my family than I can even begin to imagine (more on that later):

You are I AM
 
Since I'm on a transparency kick here, I have another confession--Sunday morning this title was brought up in discussion at church. I thought then that I should probably make it my focus, but then I convinced myself otherwise. After all, it doesn't fit the nice, neat, one word challenge.

Yet here it is again. Funny how that happens...

Sometimes, I forget. In the middle of the mess and chaos and stressing and striving, I forget that God is I AM. He is never changing, or as Revelation says,

"I AM the Alpha and Omega,
the One who is,
the One who was,
and the One who is coming;
the All Powerful."
Revelation 1:8 (VOICE)

My prayer for 2020 is that my focus will be on the One who said "I AM" when Moses asked for His name. The One who

conquers giants
calls out kings
shuts the mouths of lions
tells the dead to breathe
walks through fire
takes the orphan's hand
 
 

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