Every year I give myself a word to focus on – a word that represents what I really want to see grow in my life in this new year. I have been doing this for more than 20 years. It’s not exactly a resolution, it’s more of an intention. Some years I repeated the word from the year before because I knew I wasn’t quite there yet. “Whole” took me a few years because it’s a pretty big job to really feel whole. 2 years ago I chose “Joy” because I knew the road was going to be bumpy as we planned our move here. “Joy in the journey” and all that. Last year was “Peace” because I expected – and experienced – a lot of stress and chaos and needed to remind myself that there IS peace that passes understanding when you are where you are meant to be. I probably should have picked “Fitness” or “Healthy eating” a time or two. But what about 2017? Now that we are finally here, what do I want to see grow in my life? Because you know that what you focus on always grows.
This year I have chosen the word BOLD. We are truly loving our new life here in Mexico, but honestly I am just slightly terrified every moment of every day. Not scared as in “What if I get shot by banditos” but scared as in “Do I have what it takes to start a new life, to learn a new language, to find a new purpose?” And I know that if we are going to succeed here, we will need to step boldly right into the middle of the craziness.
The definition of BOLD:
- not hesitating or fearful in the face of actual or possible danger or rebuff; courageous and daring: a bold hero
- necessitating courage and daring; challenging: a bold adventure.
At first I thought my word should be BRAVE: “possessing or exhibiting courage or courageous endurance”. But then I realized nope, I am definitely not possessing or exhibiting courage. Maybe I will feel more brave at this time next year. But being bold means stepping out IN SPITE of not feeling brave. It’s going to mean talking to my neighbors when I know my Spanish sucks big time. It’s going to mean driving through sketchy shanty towns to drive children home on the weekend. It’s going to mean eating stuff that I don’t recognize because someone has sacrificially offered it to me. It’s going to mean hugging a child who I know has lice or germs or sickness. It’s going to mean making new friends when I really just miss my old friends.
Where do I start? How do I become bold and courageous? I think when you’re bold you don’t have time to ask that question – you just get off your butt and you step out and you grab onto whatever is in front of you. Even if you don’t feel brave. You trust that you are where you have been called and you are not alone. A bold hero on a bold adventure. That’s what I want to be this year.
Happy New Year to all of you who are cheering us on – I truly hope you have found the word that will guide your way in 2017!
Therefore, since we have such hope, we are very bold. 2 Cor 3:12
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged. The Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Josh 1:9