Tomorrow is a new year, and it’s time for a new word. For 2017, it is the year of Endurance.
Halfway through 2016, this could have honestly been my word instead of Independence. My mind was already shifting to this focus. This year I wasted a lot of time being disillusioned about my life; I fantasized way to much and ended up disappointing myself because, surprise! life isn’t a fantasy. My writer mind wishes it can create my own story just as easily as it creates others, but I’m not the only one who can throw curveballs into the fray. By October 2016, I figured out what word I needed to focus on next. It came like a clear beam of sunlight through the reddening autumn leaves.
Here’s why Endurance is my word for the year: I’m a wimp. I’m not saying that because I started hating on myself. I really am a wimp. Or, in nicer words, I don’t have as thick skin as I thought I did. I am a naturally emotional person who quits on things too soon because I didn’t get an instant “click” within the first few days. This bad trait has caused me to make several regretful decisions that I try to distract myself from to keep the shame level low. I don’t seem to have any endurance, for anything.
I think it was when I came across Hebrews 10:36 one September morning as I was on the bus that I decided on the word:
Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.
“Patient endurance” kept playing over and over in my head. It certainly was what I needed right now. The Bible has so many examples of people who endured through much suffering in order to finish and receive the reward: Joseph, Job, Elijah, Paul…not to mention Christ himself.
With a focus on Endurance, I want to develop every part of my endurance: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual. I don’t want outside forces to determine my choices anymore. I don’t want to be such an easy quitter anymore. I don’t want to be controlled by flighty emotions that just end up driving myself and others crazy. I want to endure, especially during the hard parts. I want to get strong. I’m working out this year, and I mean my mental muscles.
past years’ words
This week, after I stumbled upon this poem by my favorite author, C. S. Lewis, I just loved it too much that I was compelled to share it.
What the Bird said Early in the Year
I heard in Addison’s Walk a bird sing clear:
This year the summer will come true. This year. This year.
Winds will not strip the blossom from the apple trees
This year nor want of rain destroy the peas.
This year time’s nature will no more defeat you.
Nor all the promised moments in their passing cheat you.
This time they will not lead you round and back
To Autumn, one year older, by the well worn track.
This year, this year, as all these flowers foretell,
We shall escape the circle and undo the spell.
Often deceived, yet open once again your heart,
Quick, quick, quick, quick! – the gates are drawn apart.
by C.S. Lewis
When the year grows old
And the weather gets quite cold,
That’s when I awake.
By Catherine Joy
Starting this year, I’ve decided to make a habit of choosing a handful of words that will be my focus for the year. This was inspired from a Monday Night gathering, where a challenge was to choose a word to focus on for the year along with a related scripture. My word was trust.
Here are five words, including trust, that I’ve chosen to focus on for this year:
One thing that I have been working on for a while is trusting in God, and trusting him in all areas of my life. I too easily fall into self-dependency and forget to lean on the Lord, especially in situations of which I have no control.
Something stirred inside me at the beginning of 2014: this year is going to be very eventful. I don’t know why, but that was consistently there in my mind, and I took it to be a preparatory message. Since January there has already been significant change and progress, particularly in my personal life, and the adventure is like no other.
My goal to write, write, and write some more has never been so strong. It helps having a Creative Writing class at the moment too. This endeavor has pushed me to search for those opportunities to write, like internships, submissions, and progress on my novel.
This is something interesting: I want to advance in prayer. At the moment I am struggling with it, with what exactly I’m not sure, but it’s a very important part of my life that I never want to lose grasp of.
With this word I am specifically speaking of my skills and experience. There are several hobbies I want to embrace, and certain activities like editing, crafting, and blogging are specific areas that I want to expand with, not just in experience but in professionalism.
What would you say are your “focus words” for this year?