One Word for 2020
Sometimes you just need one person to believe in you.
Our family has a plethora of traditions that we look forward to every Christmas. Picking out the Christmas tree, decorating while listening to Christmas music and eating Buttermilk Cookies, reading through The Advent Book, and a Christmas light viewing adventure complete with hot chocolate are just a few of our favorites. But we also love watching movies and one of my favorites is “Rise of the Guardians” which is not technically a Christmas movie, but one we enjoy watching annually at Christmastime.
Jack Frost is my favorite character in the movie. If you haven’t seen it, Jack has no idea what his purpose in life is. He creates frosty adventures for children and havoc for adults, but he doesn’t know where he came from or why he is able to do what he does. The most painful part of this for Jack is that no one believes in him. He discovers this when he first wakes from what should have been an icy death and as he tries to talk to people in the nearby town, they walk right through his ghostly form.
The movie traces Jack’s personal quest to find his purpose. “North”, aka Santa, explains it as “finding your center”, the thing that gives you pleasure, meaning and purpose. As Jack joins the guardians to fight against a darkness that threatens to take over the childlike delight and wonder in the world, he discovers that his center is bringing joy and laughter to children. It only takes one child to believe in Jack Frost and to see him. With this new purpose and the knowledge that he is seen, Jack is able to stand up to fear and of course, save the day.
I feel like this year I lost my center. It’s not that my identity in Christ has been shaken or that I don’t have purpose, but I have felt like I am living under a cloud of fear. It has caused me to question all that I do. I find myself second guessing everything and as you can probably imagine this has stifled any shred of creativity in me. I have started many blog posts that have never been published. I have written countless emails that have never been sent. I have cried rivers and have found myself drowning under the weight of heartbreak, wanting desperately to set things right, but feeling completely incapable of doing so.
One of my gifts this Christmas was not under the tree, but in my inbox; a link to the Kindle edition of “Adorning the Dark” by Andrew Peterson. The gift was accompanied by a note from my husband, a reminder that he cares about my writing and his hope that this book would spur me on.
It only takes one person to believe in me.
I finished reading my new book this morning and it has inspired me and challenged me in exactly the ways my husband intended and ultimately in the ways I believe my loving Heavenly Father purposed. In the book, Peterson talks a great deal about the importance of having “resonators” in your life, those who understand where you’re at, who see you, and who get you (he mentions that C.S. Lewis was a resonator for J.R.R. Tolkien and I love this!). I resonated with so much of what was said in the book, because the fear of being irrelevant, of my words being silly and obvious, is something that haunts me and keeps me from stepping into my purpose.
This quote especially jumped out at me- “I confess, a mighty fear of irrelevance drove me to this vocation, a pressing anxiety that unless you looked back at me with a smile and a nod and said, ‘Oh, I see you. You exist. You are real to me and to this world and we’re glad you showed up,’ I might wither away and die.” He claims that this is not a noble reason to share your creativity with the world, and I certainly resonated with that, but what I’m realizing is that this uncertainty is what keeps me falling before the Throne of Grace. What little I have to offer! How weak I am! But what a good and gracious God I serve who has given me purpose and meaning and who promises to give me strength in my weakness.
One person has believed in me and so I am prepared to fight back against the fear that has threatened to consume me. I have found my center. My heart has been redirected back to my life verse, 1 Corinthians 15:58.
Therefore, my beloved, be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
My center is knowing that my labor in the Lord is not in vain. He will use my efforts for His glory when I am abounding in the work of the Lord and seeking His will.
And so, my One Word for 2020 is STEADFAST.
I can’t wait to see what this new year holds!