A Word For 2016

There’s something to be said for routine, is there not? I find safety in monotonous routines I partake in each day. Drag myself out of bed, start the coffee, take a shower, get dressed, make breakfast, sit down at my table, read my bible, etc. That’s just an example of the 1st hour of my waking day, but the routine doesn’t stop there. Maybe you can relate.

It’s a good thing that my routine is finally back to normal now that I’ve returned to school because there is a whole new year head of us and that in and of itself can be extremely overwhelming.

As you probably know from previous posts (this one, for example:
https://mygirlchloe.wordpress.com/2015/12/31/545/ ) I really dislike new years resolutions. However, in addition to these prayers I aim to focus on this year, I have been thinking long and hard about my one specific word for 2016. Maybe you’ve heard of people choosing one word – JUST ONE WORD – and focusing on that word throughout the year? Well, that’s what I plan to do.

I went back and forth quite a bit over which word to choose (it’s so hard to only choose one!!!). The past week, while reading my daily devotionals, praying, and reading through my bible, God kept placing one word front and center. That word is “light”.

“Light” is a very familiar word to me. I have always had the goal of wanting to be a light for others – to shine where there has previously been only darkness. However, light has also been a word I’ve used in past years. I definitely didn’t want to repeat a word, so I tried to come up with a similar word that had additional meaning.

Folks, I have found my 2016 word: Transparency.

http://www.dictionary.com defines transparency as:
“noun, plural transparencies.
1. Also, transparence. the quality or state of being transparent.
2. something transparent, especially a picture, design, or the like on glass or some translucent substance, made visible by light shining through from behind.
3. Photography.
1. the proportion of the light that is passed through the emulsion on an area of a photographic image.
2. a photographic print on a clear base for viewing by transmitted light.”
You see, in order for something to have or be transparent, there must be a light source present. Transparency of an object is only notable due to light shining on or through it. I think focusing on this word for the following year will be such a good practice for me.

I aim to be a light. But what has occurred to me while trying to decide which word was the right word for me this year, is that there is really so much more involved than just simply BEING a light. Instead of being a light this year and shining for others, trying to lead for others, trying to save the world…for others, this year I want to focus on letting God’s light shine THROUGH me – on becoming transparent. I want to be a vessel for His love and His grace. I don’t want to BE the light because I deserve NO spotlight or front and center seat to this show called life. I want to be the person who is transparent because GOD is shining through me.

I also like this word because I want to work on being more open and honest about my story. I share a lot of it, sure. But I sometimes feel the pressure to make it seem like everything that resulted from it is good, when in reality – although there has been MUCH good that has come from it, there have been a lot of difficulties too. One of my goals for this coming year is to not sugar coat things, to allow people to see my pain, and most importantly – to try my damnedest not to feel ashamed or guilty when people witness my pain. I never want to expose people too it because I’m afraid it will scare them away, or make me seem pessimistic, or no fun to be around.

But my gosh, this is LIFE. And it hurts like hell! We all have those moments…days…weeks…maybe even months. If I’m not transparent about all of that, then who will be? If I don’t feel safe opening up about struggles, hurts, etc…then how can anyone else feel as though they are allowed to open up about their own issues or burdens?

I want to be a stained glass window that God shines through and uses to change the world. And maybe, just maybe, that includes using my own pain and hard times too. I believe that God can take ANYTHING and use it for good – even me, even on my worst days. I pray that everyone reading this has a safe place – someone they can go too when the going gets tough, something they can lean into for support when times are hard, because it makes all the difference in the world. And my challenge to you and to myself is to be brave enough to be transparent this year – show the world your beautiful soul and all its glory and heartaches.

There is something to be said for routine – God will speak to us, even in the most monotonous, mundane moments of our day to day lives. All we have to do is listen.

“There is a beautiful transparency to honest disciples who never wear a false face and do not pretend to be anything but who they are.”
― Brennan Manning

“I wish that every human life might be pure transparent freedom.”
― Simone de Beauvoir

John 1:5
“The light shines in the darkness and the darkness can never extinguish it.”

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