Tuesday, January 3, 2017

One Word for 2017: Surrender

(So I almost wrote 2016 as I typed the title of this post. Here's to another year of trying to get used to writing a new date, just as we got used to writing last year's.)

I've been pondering for the last week or so what my word for 2017 should be. I've been searching for a word that would carry me through the coming year in order to grow as God desires me to. As I wrote in my post about my word for 2016:

"This one little word will be my "theme" for 2016. It is a word that I will keep in the forefront of my mind + heart to direct me throughout the year. It will be my track for pursuing my goals + dreams this year. It will help guide me to grow as a person this year, emotionally, mentally, socially, and, most importantly spiritually. It is a word that I hope will help me draw closer to God this year."

This one little word for 2016 was "focus," and in hindsight, I see that there was no word more fitting for last year than that. "Focus" was a consistent and recurring theme throughout my whole year, and through it I grew in more ways than I could possibly have expected. My one little word for 2016 truly carried me through the entire year.

I also wrote, this time last year:

"So this year, I need to focus. I need to put first things first. I need to make more time for the most important things in life, and relish them. I need to recenter my life around God + prayer. I need to stop letting myself get so distracted.
For me personally, I feel that "focus" is a good place to start. If I form a solid foundation for myself by learning to focus, then I can go from there. If my mind + heart are focused and not distracted, my actions will follow accordingly."

I can honestly say that all these things were achieved in my life last year. Not that I'm now perfect and always have perfect focus on the most important things in my life and never stray or get distracted. But after 2016, I have so much more focus on the things I should ~ like God, prayer, my studies ~ and I worry and try to control so much less. I'm more at peace, more centered, more present.

Now that I'm more focused, I want to take more action. Despite my growth in focus, I still find myself struggling to trust God completely and to truly desire His will over mine. I also find that I struggle to be truly selfless, both in my relationship with God and with the people in my life.

That said, I feel particularly called to work on denying myself, sacrificing, and trusting God in this coming year. And so my one word for 2017 is:  s u r r e n d e r .

This year, I'm going to strive to surrender my will to God's more completely. To surrender my life to God more radically. To surrender my will for the sake of others. To forget myself in order to love God and others better.

I'm taking as my role model for this year of surrender my dear patron saint and friend, St. Therese of Lisieux. I want to imitate her Little Way ~ her simple, humble routine of making small sacrifices and of renouncing her will in everyday things for love of God and neighbor. In sacrificing my will in practical, tangible ways, even if they are small ways, I will be better able to sacrifice my will to God and trust in Him.

I'm also taking the following as a prayer or quote to go along with my word for the year:

Let go, my soul, and trust in Him.

I'm going to strive to let go, to surrender, so as to trust in Him more completely and to be truly desirous and accepting of His will instead of mine.

And so friends, that's my mission for 2017: surrender.

What's yours?


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