What problems did you start the year with? Do you still have them? Did any new problems pop up along the way?
I ended 2015 with the problem of undiagnosed abdominal pain. I had been to doctors, gone through scans, had MRIs, and taken medicines, but still no diagnosis.
And no relief.
One Word: Welcome
So at the end of last year, I chose the word “Welcome” as my new One Word to focus on in 2016.
When we can no longer deny our pain, we can’t fix our problems, and we don’t want to constantly complain about them, there’s one thing left to do: Intentionally accept them.
- That doesn’t mean settle.
- That doesn’t mean we don’t continue to work for solutions.
- That doesn’t mean don’t cry out to God for help.
For the past 12 months, I’ve been taking my scaredy-cat self and asking God to help me welcome my problems, physical or otherwise.
Instead of fighting against them, I wanted to intentionally accept what God allowed to happen.
- Daily (well, most days) I used meditation practices to stay in the now.
- Weekly, I used the Welcoming Prayer to affirm my intention to God and myself.
- And monthly (with the outline of Brené Brown’s book The Gifts of Imperfection), I focused on a different attribute to welcome, and something different to let go of. (See all twelve here.)
Did it work?
How do you define success? At the end of January, I was finally advised to have my gall bladder removed. I did. It helped.
But ridding ourselves of one problem at a time is never a complete answer. It’s our attitudes about all our problems that have to change.
It’s a spiritual encounter with grace that finally transforms us.
Even when our circumstances don’t change.
My attitudes did make a slight shift this year.
- Some struggles I’m holding looser.
- I’m learning it creates less suffering when I surrender to God earlier rather than later.
- His presence is even more obvious—and valuable—to me than before.
I still have a long way to go (thankfully, with much less abdominal pain).
But having a journey ahead is fine with me (well, most days).
I’m even learning to welcome it.
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Did you choose One Word for 2016? Have you thought of One Word for 2017? Please share in the comments.
- Do You Have a Word—And An Audience?
- Is There a Better Way to Be Christian?