With the start of a new year there are plenty of ways to recount the last year.
I've been thinking of how to recount this last year for myself. Highlights would include: finally living in the same state as my husband, Stephen, as well as Stephen's graduation, ordination, and installation. Settling into life in a town of 1,000. A new dog. Deeper relationships with the community I serve. Lots of walking. Lots of reading and writing. The red rocks of Sedona.
But, mainly, I keep going back to words. All the writing I've done personally and professionally. I can recount the handwritten journal pages, the scraps of paper with quotes and motivational phrases, the blog entries, the newsletter articles, the emails, the handwritten notes, the sermons, the to-do lists, the cards, the bible studies, and some more sermons.
Words have defined how I share my story and how I share God's story with the community I serve. Words have reminded me that I do have a story to tell and that the story is continually being rewritten and reworked. Words have flowed, and words have eluded me. The words have startled me and the words have comforted me. The power of the words, the power of my own thoughts, have been a source of both hope and pain.
In the words of others, either strangers or friends, I've found solace. I've been reminded that when one writes, one writes to make sense of the world in which we all live. We write from a common center, a core rooted in love and grace. A core that resonates deep within the rhythm of the earth. And it is in these words that I have hope in the stories that still yearn to be told. The stories that echo for justice. The stories that can only be told once one goes through the darkness and into the light. Stories that aren't always pretty or neat, but stories that teach us to listen more deeply. Stories that change the world.
So, it's a new year and I'm grateful for words. Grateful for the inspiration to keep writing and stringing together words to make sense of my life and this life of faith. I'm thankful for the words that were sung and spoken and prayed to me that resonate deep within. I'm thankful for the words that come to me from within when I have no words to utter.
And yet, most importantly, I look to the Word that was in the beginning. The Word that came into being so that all words would know the light. For in the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God. And the Word was God.
It is this Word that I dwell in and it is this Word that dwells in me.