One Word 2017
It’s been so long since I used this space, it feels strange to write here.
This blog used to be a place to work a lot of my thinking out. I have other outlets for most of it now. But it seemed a fitting foundation to hold something resolution-like, so here we are again. REUNION!
My word for 2016 was privately held. The word was “enough.” In keeping it to myself, I was able to focus on the places I felt inadequate as well as the places I was reluctant to trust God to make up the differences where I fell short. One of the aspects of enough that didn’t manifest in 2016 was the idea that I could find rest knowing I “did” enough. Perhaps it’s the pace of social justice organizing or the bane of the Information Age, but even though I saw God move mountains this year, making my efforts fruitful beyond my productivity, I still had this running list of things I should have done or could have done and I felt bad about it. The Devil is a liar. I can honestly look back on 2016 now and say I did do enough. I got shit done, y’all.
Yet I have not cultivated the discipline of rest that I wanted to have. I contemplated making that my word, especially since it spoke loudly and scared the bejeezus out of me, as all the good words do. I have a hard time stopping and saying “no,” so I could have wrestled with rest all year. But rest wasn’t quite the thing. I wanted something that spoke to how rest builds endurance and the discipline I need to keep fighting for the long haul. I wanted something that made rest itself an act of resistance in a world of NOW. Something that affirms the value of my life as a chronically ill person who often has rest imposed upon me. I needed a word that reminds me my worth was settled long ago by Someone beyond myself who numbers our days, whose timeless existence and inexhaustible patience puts our ableist capitalist treadmill to shame as the futile lie it is.
I don’t just want to rest, I want to rest with intention and purpose, reflection, empowered by the truths in which I am resting. With the immediacy of 2017 bearing down on me, on a long car ride on New Year’s Eve, the word has finally found me. And I know it’s right because it has the familiar feeling of a divine inside joke. I tweeted this self-deprecating quip about a month ago…
Abide is rest. Abide is trust. Abide is connection and volition and peace. For me, it’s the culmination of enough (2016) and fearless (2015). Abide is clothed with strength and dignity [maybe some leggings] and can laugh whatever struggle the days ahead bring. We’re facing a lot collectively this coming year, and abide will ground me and keep me anchored when the rest of this place shifts.
So here we go 2017. I’m abiding.