It’s ten days into 2018 and I’ve finally started to remember to write 2018 instead of 2017. Which means 2018 must be here to stay, right? 🙂
We kicked off the New Year with a sick baby – full blown coughing, sneezing, snot drizzled everywhere, low-grade fever, no sleep…oh the joys of parenthood.
And just as the kiddo started to get better…the husband got sick. And then just as he started to get better…yup, you guessed it…I got sick.
Which is why this is being written ten days into 2018, instead of on the 1st of January.
A couple of years ago I learned about One Word 365 from my sweet blogger friend Sarah. And heading into 2016, I just knew with a strange certainty that the word for that year would be “Immanuel” – God With Us.
At the time, I had no idea that my first-born son would be born in 2016, 10.5 weeks early. There was no way to anticipate the up and down journey it would all be, and that my one word – Immanuel – would become such an anchor for us in that season.
Heading into 2017, I felt such conviction that it would be a year of miracles. We had just witnessed our little 29 weeker thrive in the NICU, surprise the doctors despite all of his medical diagnoses, and come home before his expected due date.
But there I was, the last day of 2017, permanently situated on my glider as I tried to rock a very cranky, sniffly little boy to sleep.
It was hard not to have a little attitude towards God at the moment. “Really, Lord…this is how we’re going to end this year and ring in the next? With all of us getting sick? Don’t you remember that this was supposed to be the year of miracles? I could really use a miraculous healing right about now…”
“Don’t you remember that this was indeed a year of miracles?”
And in that very humbling moment, I started to remember.
How our little 2 lb, 6 oz fighter had grown into an almost 20 lb chunk of a happy boy. How surgery after surgery His grace had been so tangible to us in the hospital. How Josiah continued to defy the medical odds with every hospital visit. How we celebrated his first birthday with so many family and friends we love. How God provided for us financially in literally miraculous ways (after 10 weeks in the NICU, 3 surgeries, and countless follow up visits with his 7 different doctors and specialists, we do not have any medical debt…that in and of itself is a MIRACLE, people!).
And that’s just starting to scratch the surface.
Pictures of our #bestnine2017
Nothing like reflecting on the past to bring you to your knees in the present.
It had indeed been a year of miracles, a year of opportunity to see God’s glory manifested in our own lives. What a privilege and an honor.
Which leads me into my one word for 2018. What does the Lord have in store for us this year?
I know. It’s not what I expected either. In fact, I didn’t want it. So, I kept searching and asking for another word.
But God has a funny way of making Himself known.
Every time I would ask, “God, are you sure? Are You sure it’s the word ‘surrender’ for 2018?” And sure enough, I would be bombarded with that word or with that concept for days. Whether it was in song, through my pastor’s message, a text from a friend, as I read through the Word…I couldn’t deny it.
And as the fireworks went off somewhere near our neighborhood at midnight on January 1st, I leaned into that word. Surrender.
As I held onto my sweet little boy, sniffling through the night, I pressed into that word. Surrender.
And then I remembered the night I gave my life to the Lord over ten years ago. That had been the word He had whispered over me – surrender. And it wasn’t until I did, that my life changed forever.
It was surrender that had carried me through those early years of learning how to love God and His people. It was surrender that had guided me in tough decisions as I trusted His faithfulness for my life and future.
And now, in this year to come, I am certain it will be no different.
It will be surrender that will stir my heart to go deeper into His presence. It will be surrender that will help me to lean upon Him as I’m called to trust in greater and more impossible ways.
2018, I have no idea what you are sending our way. But I know that the God who has sustained our family through mountains and valleys will never leave us. And the more I embrace surrender, the more I will see His presence and power in my life.
This will be the best year yet. I can just feel it.