Resolutions have always come as one with the New Year. Eventually, resolutions became a distant past as they turned into goals. Goals, I thought, made more sense and seemed more achievable. I thought about behaviors I didn’t like and set goals to change them. I thought about things I wished I had accomplished but hadn’t yet, and set goals to finally move those things from the to do side of my checklist to the done side. And on it went, thinking of goals that would enhance the physical, mental and social parts of my life. As it turned out, however, my unfinished goals continued from one year into the next, along with the new ones I had set. They piled on top of one another, becoming unrealistic, leading me to drop them one at a time, uncompleted, feeling like a failure. All it accomplished was including in the next year’s goal of not failing at completing my goals, and on and on.
And then it happened. My first inclination was to call it a coincidence, but I don’t so much believe in coincidences any more. I believe in messages from God. I believe God speaks to me through people, thoughts, dreams, and arranging what could be interpreted as coincidences to reach my consciousness. I was reading a blog I hadn’t read in a very long time, for no other reason than lack of time. (Probably from working on all those uncompleted goals.) Rachel Olsen is a team member at Proverbs31.org. It’s there I found the My One Word project. My One Word is a revolution thought up by Pastor Mike Ashcraft, and the title of a book written by Mike Ashcraft and Rachel Olsen. It encourages participants to think of the person they would like to become, and through prayer for suggestions from God, to choose one word to focus on for the year that can help them achieve that end.
The word God led me to was “grace.” At first I was going to dismiss that and choose “forgiveness.” Surely it was more important to forgive others. But the word “grace” kept coming to the forefront of my mind. And who was I to dismiss God’s voice?
The more I thought about it, the more I realized how grace and forgiveness go hand in hand. And it was my job to trust God’s leading, not my own. After all, I hadn’t done so well on my own thus far when it came to resolutions. So grace it is. God’s unmerited favor. What an honor to have God lead me to Grace.
Learning the full consequence of accepting God’s grace and extending grace to others. Tying my word to His word. Grace to scripture. The opportunity to practice extending mercy and kindness–grace–to others. “Hail Mary, full of grace…” What a beautiful visual. I believe God led me to my word to help me understand his bountiful love he lavishes upon me daily. A love I am undeserving of. But by the Grace of God, I have that love. I have forgiveness, abundant blessings. Because of His grace.
I look forward to watching how my journey unfolds throughout the year, of exploring grace, both accepting and extending. To see how it will help me grow closer to God.
That list of resolutions/goals has taught me that perhaps I wasn’t successful because I tried to do it on my own. For my own means. My one word, God-given, is an opportunity to give it to God. To pray it leads me closer to Him. And I believe He would never deny one of His children wanting to be closer to Him.
Grace to you.