Last year I chose FREEDOM as my word for 2020. Yes, let’s all collectively laugh or cry at the same time as 2020 was the year of lockdowns and restrictions. While maybe it didn’t feel like a year of freedom with lockdowns and weirdness with the rona, God had a lesson for me. Freedom doesn’t equal free the way I think of it. My freedom isn’t found in being able to go out to eat or travel wherever. Freedom is found in Christ and Christ alone.
Definitely a weird year all around and not what any of us were expecting 2020 to be. As my hubby and I snuck in a quick weekend away at the end of December, I had to time to reflect on 2020 and pray/process what my word for 2021 would be.
At first I was leaning towards a self discipline/obedience type word. But as I processed more, I really felt like Joy & Connection were what I needed to focus on this year. And of course, the word of God had the perfect verse for this. Joy is found in His presence and in connecting with God & others. That is the path of life,
In a year were we have spent more time at home than ever, we have the ability to connect through electronic devices with friends and family throughout the world which is amazing! Not only that but we can work, attend school and church from home through the screen. Yet, I think even with this ability to “connect” with others through electronics we are actually less connected than ever before.
There is zoom fatigue because we are busy staring at squares of people on a screen. We are missing out on the connection that comes from physically being around one another. I would even go so far as to say that people are becoming afraid of one another. Human touch, connection and presence is something to run from instead of run to. Not to mention the political and social issues that are causing deep division, making it easier than ever to disconnect and sever from one another on social media and even real life relationships. People in nursing homes are dying, not from a virus but from the lack of human touch and connection from family and friends.
What I’ve realized for our family is that yes, we’ve spent A LOT of time together this past year, but we are not necessarily connecting at a deeper level. It’s easy to be together but not really be connected. This happens often in marriages as well. You are together but are you really connecting?
And here’s me getting raw and honest. January was rough this year. We had the rona, our dog died and I am struggling with seasonal depression. (The reason I don’t type the real virus name is, I don’t want the info stuff put on my blog posts or social media posts from the government.) I have not been reading my bible, my sleep has been crappy and I’ve not been myself. I don’t want to connect, with the Lord, with my husband or with my friends and family. Not exactly encouraging for my word of the year.
But what is encouraging is, there is no shame. His mercies are new each morning. And each month for that matter. So I’m starting over in February. January was a wash for me and I’m giving myself grace, letting it go and starting again. I’m focusing on my word, going to put down some concrete ideas for connecting with God, family, friends, my home, my work, my body, my mind and nature.
I’m going to break down over the next few blog posts some ways I will be creating deeper connections in various aspects of my life. A few years ago, well ok like 7, I had Deeper as my word for the year. Definitely feel like God is calling me to head in a similar direction but this time it’s a completely different season of life and a new city/church community/community and home. Alright Lord, I am ready to do it again! I would love to know if you have a word for 2021, leave me a comment and let me know!