It started with a "simple" enough idea from my friend Alece.
At the risk of grossly oversimplifying her plan, the idea was to pray about finding the one word that would define, shape, and structure your year in 2011.
And so, I felt like God showed me a word in Hebrew which I needed to focus on: shalam.
The word itself has a number of meanings, including to be in a covenant of peace; to be at peace; to be complete; to be sound; and to make whole or good, restore, to make compensation.
And I wrote about what God was teaching me about this word and how it was impacting my life here...and here...and here...and here...and here...and here...and here...and here...
So, of course, the manner in which I thought this word would be defined and lived out in me has wound up being nothing like what God had panned. Ain't that just always the way?
Whereas I thought it meant I would be granted something, I have instead been shown where I could give.
Whereas I thought it meant I would finally lay down portions of my past, I was shown the aspects I had been holding on to and needed to release and deal with before I could gain peace.
Whereas I thought it meant the year might be sound and stable, I have been rocked, challenged and broken like never before.
Whereas I thought things might be given to me to "make up" to me for what I had lost, I learned (okay: re-learned) that those things which are of the greatest value are the ones you sometimes have to fit for and earn.
So, my shalam felt more "SHAZAM" in the way it was delivered to me; namely, hitting my like a bolt out of the sky. (Yes, that was an old 1950s comic book reference. Captain Marvel is one of my favorite four-color characters of all time, and it's rare I get to utilize him with a spiritual twist. Let me have this one, okay?) But to be honest, I wouldn't have had it any other way.
In fact, I'm almost embarrassed at how "simple" I thought this might be at the outset. And I am thankful, blessed, humbled, and honored at how much this word and this journey have taught me. And I can't wait to see how it continues today out in my life, heart, and mind.
...and makes what I think is supposed to be my One Word for 2012 both frightening and invigorating. And just a tad cheesy.
But that's another post for another year.