At the end of 2019 I chose the word Stand to be my word for 2020 with my final thought being "I want to be found standing in 2020". I thought it would be a year of resting; of getting our feet under us and preparing to move forward.
I was oh so wrong. It was a year of constantly adjusting and readjusting to what seemed like constant challenges and ever changing situations. Covid came and closed our foster care license. Nathalie and Rachel moved back home. Samantha moved to Kansas. We were presented an opportunity to be house parents in Alabama. And then that was retracted.
2020 had more curveballs than a world series, but I am still standing. I rolled with the punches and found allies who stood with me. True friends who wouldn't tell me what I wanted to hear, but spoke the truth with grace and love. I found again the grace God has for all of us and the balanced perspective that that grace gives. Too many years of being told that I had to do more to earn God's favor and love were replaced with the understanding that because of who I am (His child), I am already favored by Him. He favors me because He knows me, not because I behave perfectly all the time. And because I gained this inner balance, I was able to stand strong when everything around me seemed unbalanced.
My word for 2021 is "BEHOLD".
In the King James Version of the Bible, “behold” is used as the translation of the Hebrew word "hinneh" in the Old Testament and the Greek word "idou" in the New Testament. There is no word in English which conveys perfectly what these words communicate. They might be defined as “Pay careful attention to what is to follow; it is very important!” It is an imperative command to pay attention. To behold something is to focus your attention upon it. I want to remember in 2021 to be alert to how God is moving, directing , and leading me.
Webster's dictionary defines behold as "to perceive through sight or apprehension" and "to gaze upon" or "observe". If I am going to perceive, I need to be observing. This means I need to focus and see the whole picture. I often get tunnel vision and concentrate only on reaching the goal, losing sight of the experiences at hand in the process. God in 2020 certainly slowed me down and I am learning to be in the moment more often. I can make better decisions when I behold the whole picture.
While mulling over this word, it occurred to me that the past tense is BEHELD. I'll take some artistic license with that word and change it to "Be Held". I want to be held by and to hold loved ones. Covid has limited physical interactions and I want to savor each one when they happen.
Being held means being secure. I want to know God's presence and to rest in the knowledge that He holds me in the palm of His hand. In 2021 I want to remember that I am forever held by God's grace and take courage in that knowledge, so I can step in faith whatever direction He leads.
2021 is a blank slate; wide open with possibilities and challenges. I want to remember to behold the whole picture, pay attention to the scenery, and slow down enough to perceive God's opportunities. I also want to remember that I will always be held by the Creator of the Universe and I can face the future with confidence.