Freedom: On to 2015

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This week, I’ve been sharing about my 2014 One Little Word: free. This is the last post in that series, though I’m certain it won’t be the last time I write about the freedom I’ve found.

It’s only in the past few weeks that I’ve realized how profoundly choosing “free” in 2014 has changed my life.

I’m a resolution junkie. Every November or December, I start putting together my list of goals and plans for the following year. Whether financial or physical or vocational or personal, it’s always been easy to identify a list of not good enoughs and could be betters. My perfectionism gets the best of me at this time of year, as does my strange affinity for the word “should.”

This year has been different. For the past several weeks, I have been wracking my brain for resolutions and projects. A few things came to mind: Evan and I want to keep decluttering and minimizing, I want to continue writing and blogging, I’d like to read one poem each day, and I want to continue working through my journaling Bible.

This list is different than every other list of resolutions I’ve ever had, and here’s why: each item starts with “I want to.” Not one of them emerged from a feeling of “should.” I mean, read a poem a day? That actually sounds fun.

For the first time, I don’t see shortcomings as my most defining characteristics, so my resolutions are things that bring me joy. My resolutions are all about tapping more into the person God made me to be, instead of who I think I should be.

Hallelujah and amen.

It is so simple, yet it feels like a seismic shift in my soul. I look at the year ahead and feel mostly peace and eager anticipation, rather than dread about all I’ll surely fail to do.

Sounds like freedom to me.

Free was so impactful that I couldn’t not choose a new word for 2015. I pulled out my journal and brainstormed. I tried words on for size, considering what they would mean and how they would manifest themselves. I looked out for words as I read Scripture and listened to podcasts. I read through the list of words on Ali Edwards’ site. I know that there is no perfect word, but I watched for something to stand out, for the quiet whisper saying, “Here it is.”

A few contenders emerged…Center. Look. Less. Savor. Simple.

All perfectly fine. No doubt, many or all of them will work their way into my life this year. Still, I couldn’t settle on any of them.

But do you know what word hasn’t stopped popping up, hasn’t stopped teaching me, hasn’t stopped resonating? Free.

So, I am taking the easy way out. Or rather, I am choosing to keep walking down the path I’ve started on, and I’m sticking with “free” for the second year in a row.

I don’t think Jesus is done teaching me about this word just yet.

Cheers to 2015, and cheers to freedom.

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