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Thursday, January 1, 2015

Peace in 2015

It happened a week after writing this post. I heard my word for 2015, and it wasn't the word I wanted. I was sitting with my family at Mass, listening to father's homily about preparing ourselves for the Christmas season. He talked about how society cries for peace from war and peace within our lives, but many of us have forgotten that true peace comes from a relationship with Jesus. 

I knew that the word peace was meant for me. It was the way it sounded when he said it. I heard it with my ears but felt it whispered in my heart.


You know what I did? I rejected it. I told myself that it was too early to have found my word for the year. I told myself that I needed more time to figure it out. I was still hoping for a word like rest or renew or health.


Then I started reading the final book I had on my list for the year, Let's All Be Brave: Living Life with Everything You Have written by Annie Downs. It seemed like a great book to end my year with since this was the year of being fearless. The author wrote about how she had followed God's plans for her life even when He wanted her to leave her comfort zone, and when His plan meant that her plan would end. She explained that that was what being brave was, doing things that we don't think we can and may not even want to do. 



I enjoyed the book. Reading it was like having an interesting chat with a new friend over coffee. It was the perfect book to read at the end of the year, a time when I was ready to leave the old year behind me and look forward to a new year. 


But it was the very end of the book that sealed the deal for me and my word of the year. In the final chapter of Let's All Be Brave, these words grabbed hold of me and would not let go: 
"Making the brave choice in your life is going to change the world. At the least, it will change your world... I hope you've already done it. I hope you've already taken that first step because I am sure, like I've rarely been so sure of anything before, that your people are waiting and your God is watching with expectancy for you to see where your map is going to take you. And I pray peace for you. Because even in the scariest moments... Jesus promises you peace..."

And then she quotes scripture, but I will get to that in a moment!


It was December 28th, and I knew I could not ignore the word peace any longer. It was to be my word for 2015. In so many ways, it is the perfect word for me.  I am not at peace. I worry, and I suffer from anxiety. I need peace, real peace. I need the peace that can only come from my Lord.


In the same way that I studied and memorized scripture about being fearless, I am going to do the same with God's word about peace.


My first verse for the year is John 14:27. It is the verse that Annie Downs quoted in Let's All Be Brave. They are words that I have read many times, but words that I need to focus on; words I need to believe.     



                                                       

Do you have a word for the year? How did you decide on your word, and how are you going to focus on it in 2015? 

I pray that 2015 brings you much joy and many blessings!


14 comments:

  1. You don't have to answer this, but I'm curious about why you wouldn't want the worse "peace". Maybe that's a whole new blog post?

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    1. I don't mind answering your question. There are two reasons that I didn't want the word peace. First, it wasn't one of the words that I wanted for 2015 (selfish being that I am). Second peace is a big word. It takes a lot of abandonment to have true peace with God. The character traits that I think of when a person has real peace is trust, patience, self-control, acceptance, and courage. A person with peace can look at the obstacles ahead and feel calm, knowing that they have God's grace to see them through it. As you can see from my first reason, I am still working on letting go of my plan and embracing God's plan for me. I am restless and worrisome too often and think that I have more control than I actually do in certain areas of my life. I do need peace in the areas of my health and fertility especially. So I resisted for a bit, but I am sure now that it is the word I need to focus on this year, and I am encouraged by it.

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  2. In some ways it seems we are made to resist God's will in our lives. I do not have a word for the year but I plan to take some time to read the 4 Gospels this year. I am also planning to read Into Your Hands Father - Abandoning Ourselves to God's Will. I hope to grow in the virtue of patience as I read these things. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Christina, I think I may need to read that book, too!

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  3. I really like this, Erica. I am in the process of praying about my word and the phrase "be still" keeps popping up around me and it has sort of taken hold of my heart. It is not an easy phrase for me since it is the opposite of me, hence God needing me to work on it. Anyway, I love the last paragraph of the book you quoted, especially the words "your people are waiting and your God is watching with expectancy..." Frankly, it boggles my mind! Thanks for the thought-provoking nudge. :-) Happy new year!

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    1. Happy new year, Bobbi! Sounds like still may be your word for the year. :)

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  4. I'm getting ready to wrote my post about my word for the year. Loved reading yours.

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    1. I look forward to reading about your word for the year, Jenny!

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  5. Good post today. I know you will do well with your word this year. I'm still praying and contemplating mine. It seems foggy or hard to grasp so far, but that could just be pregnant brain. =) Hopefully, I'll know my word soon. =)

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    1. Thanks, Natalie. I am sure you will know you word soon. Congratulations again on your pregnancy!

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  6. This is the best. Thank you for letting me be a part of your story. Means so much. Cheering for you!

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    1. Thank you for stopping by and leaving such a nice comment. Thank you for writing your heart and inspiring me and others through your words.

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  7. I am happy that you found your word. I know how powerful it is to find a word, last year for me was abandonment but I haven't gotten to this year. Peace might make it . I feel that I need peace in my inter life, especially the part that so much wants to carry and hold an infant. I think I need to start making peace with that it might never happen for me again. But as my 2014 world, abandonment, I have to just do that, abandon it all to the will of God. God bless you on your new year!!

    Give Cathi and hug from me. I miss her dearly! :0

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    1. Cecilia, we both have that longing to have another child here on Earth with us to love. I will hold you close in prayer this year as we both try to be at peace about our fertility.

      I will give Cathi a hug for you. She is such a wonderful friend. I know she misses you, too. :)

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