It is very popular online to choose a word or a theme for the new year.
I think that I will join in. :)
My word for 2012 - the word that the Lord seems to be impressing upon my heart as personally important, is IDENTITY.
The forties are proving to be an interesting decade. I like them. (I certainly like them better than the alternative.) Of course there are things I don't like about being over forty years of age, but mostly, it is a satisfying stage of life. I'm sure you've heard it before, but it truly does feel as if you begin to fit into your own self. You start to define what is really "you," as opposed to what you've picked up from others. You begin to drop burdens that weren't yours to carry all long; but to pick up others that were. Your responsibilities fit.
To that end, "Identity."
I have struggled throughout my life to know who I am. I've pulled my security and station from family (husband and children, brothers and sisters, parents) or from church, or theology, or shakily enough, from friends.
This is natural, I think, particularly for a stay-at-home mother. It is wrong, though, and I've likely been one of the most insecure people you've ever met - and that is because I was drawing my security from the wrong source.
We are each supposed to be who we were fully meant to be through Christ. We are to identify with Him, first.
I am not a wife first, I am a Christian.
I am not a mother first, I am a Christian.
I am not an American first, I am a Christian.
I am not a daughter or sister first, I am a Christian.
If I am a Christ-follower first, and I find my confidence and security in my relationship with God through the gift of Jesus Christ, then I will not label myself nor become discouraged and defeated with myself when I struggle or fail in any of my human relationships. I will realize that my worth does not come from these relationships (as precious as they are....) but that thru Christ I have the promise of renewal and redemption and forgiveness and hope that I can begin again and the Holy Spirit lives in me to help me in my weaknesses.
When I seek to find and establish my identity in Christ, my relationships will naturally be blessed by the overflow. I will be a better wife, a better mother, a better daughter, sister, and citizen.
But Christ is first - over everything.
If you pray for me in 2012, this is a good place to begin - that I might know Him better and find my IDENTITY in Him. Is there a word or a way that I might pray for you?