Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Word for 2018

I have never before participated in the popular non-resolution-making idea of choosing a word for the coming year,'s time!

My word for 2018 is "heart."

At our church, we're beginning a year in the book of John, and our theme is "Heart to Heart." So I was already primed for this image, but a couple Sundays ago in church, while our preacher was reminding us that Jesus really is a person, not just a concept, I felt an almost physical sensation of warmth and tightness, like a hug, just a little left of the center of my chest. The thought entered my brain, "Jesus is hugging my heart." I stopped listening to the sermon and sat there noticing and allowing this sensation, and trying to hold tears back as I continued to feel that it was indeed Jesus embracing me at the core of my being.

(What a long way I've come, with God's help, from a time when what little sense of being I had, I considered too unloveable for anyone to embrace. God really does transform lives!)

The word "heart" to me symbolizes a vulnerability that I have to be willing to choose. I have to stop all the wheels spinning--the busyness, the thoughts, the actions of juggling daily life (which for me also means becoming vulnerable because I can use these things as defenses)--and I have to rest for a few minutes in the presence of God. Just as I sometimes have to pull away from "all the things" and re-establish a relational connection with my husband, reminding myself (and him) that our marriage is one of the most important things, so I also must seek out the Lord, not just for a quick mental check-in (which I try to do frequently) but for a real embrace and a rest.

"Heart." Heart-to-heart time with Jesus. And with my heart held tightly by God, how much more will I be to minister to the hearts of others? Transformation of hearts is another ongoing prayer of my heart, so my word will remind me to pray for my own heart and the hearts of others, and to do what I can to touch hearts in ministry.

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