Word of the Year
So this post probably seems a few months overdue. It's about my "word of the year," and now it's just about April. The year is one-fourth over. (Take a minute to let that sink in... how are those resolutions going?....same). Honestly, I'm a bit skeptical of "word of the year" people. My sister is one of them, has been for years, but I've never been that into it. No word has ever just come to me. Do people choose an arbitrary word? Is the word given to them by God? Is it a combination of both?
This year has been different. I bought a book a few days before the new year: You'll Get Through This by Max Lucado (read it). The book was about the story of Joseph and how Joseph's suffering, though long and great, was all part of a bigger plan for Joseph, his family, and the people of God. It's about God's sovereignty.
After reading the book and through the story of Joseph in the Bible, the next logical place to go was right on into Exodus. I did a quick Google search, hoping to find a good print out resource or commentary on the book to supplement my reading. I saw that Matt Chandler from The Village Church is doing an eleven month (yes, you read that correctly) study of the book of Exodus and its relevance in our lives today. Wanna know the main reason its relevant? Because it shows God's sovereignty over his people, history, nature, everything.
Sensing a pattern?
Even with these two seemingly obvious hints, I wasn't convinced to say this word was my "word of the year." After all, maybe it was just something God was teaching me in this moment. Nothing seemed clear. There was no booming voice coming down from heaven, no tender whisper of the word before I fell asleep. It just kept popping up seemingly by coincidence.
A couple weeks into the semester, my check engine light came on. I took my car to the dealership and they kept it for F.I.V.E.D.A.Y.S. I live in a small, rural town where you definitely need a car. To say that being without it was an inconvenience is quite an understatement. I was completely reliant on others, which is something I am not used to (a nice way to humble me). I got a call on the fifth day from the dealership. My car had broken down just two weeks before my warranty would expire. They had kept the car and replaced everything that was covered under the warranty. I got about $1500 worth of work done and only payed $180. God was sovereign over my car, y'all. My car.
And now, I'm dealing with the loss of a student from McNair. I'm wondering how on Earth it makes sense for a 15 year old to lose his life. I spoke to one of my former students a few days ago to see how she is dealing with the death of one of her friends. And to my surprise, she said, "I know God doesn't make mistakes." I'm sorry, what? I'm over here intermittently crying because I don't understand and I can't find the good, and my student reminds me of that little word that has been tugging at my heart all year long. Sovereignty. God was sovereign over James' life and death. This doesn't mean the loss is easy, painless, or sensible. It does mean that God is in control, that He knows its purpose. I'm continually amazed at how I became a teacher, yet my kids are always teaching me. Even from 300 miles away.
So I guess I've got a word. And I'm not sure what that means yet. So far, it means seeing God in the day to day. It means looking at any situation and reminding myself that He has a plan, for me, for the country, and for the world. Who knows if I'll have a new word next year or the year after that or ever again, but for the rest of this year, I guess I'm going to dig into some pretty heavy stuff in terms of how God works in my life and the lives of others. I'd love for you to join me on the journey and tell me where you see (or fail to see) God's sovereignty in your own life.