I began 2020 with the woman of my dreams in my arms.
I began 2020 eyes squeezed tight out of pure joy.
I began 2020 inviting God to own this year – every single moment of it.
I began 2020 embraced.
Embraced in love from my Creator,
In joy with the love of my life,
In hope for all that is to come,
In delight for this incredible, wild, adventurous life I get to live.
And so my resolution word from 2019 carried me into my resolution word for 2020: embrace.
I want to embrace all that this year has to offer.
Embrace my call.
Embrace my (future) wife.
Embrace healthy living.
Embrace routines and the adjustment of them.
Embrace ministry in all forms.
Embrace the radical and bigger-than-life grace of Jesus Christ more and more.
It’s a big ask. I’m well aware. But, that is part of the significance of a New Year’s resolution in a word. It’s going to stretch me. And challenge me. And break me. And encourage me. And hold me. And help me. There will be times I can celebrate when I’ve done it well. And times I will have to admit I was not keeping it as a priority. Through it all, I will grow. I have no doubt about that.
Another beautiful part about a New Year’s resolution in a word is that it means so many things. Embrace means to hold someone closely, especially as a sign of affection. It can also mean to accept or support (a belief or change) willingly and enthusiastically. Further, it can mean to include or contain. The synonyms are almost as beautiful as the word itself: hold, cuddle, squeeze, encircle, welcome, adopt, espouse, include, encompass, embody. I want 2020 to be filled with all of these things. Sometimes that will be easier than others. But if I am just one step closer to being a more loving partner, a more present sister, a more attentive daughter, a more daring friend, a more valiant pastor, a more faithful follower of Jesus Christ by the embracing work I do this year, the point of this endeavor will have revealed itself.
So as always, please keep me accountable. Check in. Maybe give me a high-five when I’m embracing well and maybe give me an embrace when I am not embodying my word to the best of my ability. And maybe, just maybe, the world will follow suit and we will all learn to embrace each other a little more, a little better, a little stronger than we did before. For that and so much more, I am praying for 2020.