In my opinion, words are some of the most fascinating things that humans have ever invented. There are over 370,000 words in Mandarin Chinese, over 172,000 words in the English language, and over 171,000 words in Hindustani (which just happen to be the top three spoken languages in the world, respectively).
When you were younger, did you ever say your name or another word over and over and over again until it sounded foreign to you? Just me?? It felt like I dissected the phonetics and contorted the letters so much that it didn’t seem usable anymore.
That’s how the past three or four years have felt to me – unusable. My emotions, my goals or intentions, my relationships – basically my overall growth – felt stunted. And with my word from 2019 being “again,” it felt like I was relearning e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. I am not so blessed as to have gratitude for slow-moving lessons in the moment, and I look up to those that do!
This year, though, 2020…. It feels like the homestretch of a 5000 piece puzzle. Not only do I have the corners and edges lined up, but the picture is starting to take form. (Do I have any idea what it is yet? No, but God does!)
Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself to have yet taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind me and pressing forward to what is ahead.Philippians 3:13
FORWARD. I loved that word. I knew it would be my word for 2020 before November even ended. Usually when God’s trying to talk to me, it comes in repetition of the words of others. And toward the end of last year, I all but saw a flashing neon light of that word.
There are many definitions and uses for “forward,” but here are the ones that I’m focusing on: “to send forward (transmit); to help onward (promote); leaning toward a forward position; situated in advance; strongly inclined (ready). ” (Merriam Webster)
What am I ready for? What am I poised to transmit or promote? I have no idea.
The point is not to know what you’re about to do, but to be ready for when it comes.
I spent way too many years allowing people to affect my mood and my purpose. I let them determine what I was capable of and what I deserved. I let Satan control my thoughts and convince me that I was unworthy. Essentially, I cut my own fuse and buried the matches. It feels as if I dozed off like Alice pre-Wonderland but I didn’t wake up in the same year.
My stagnation is unbearable to look back at. It’s cringey, as the youths say. So, my goal this year is some sort of forward movement in as many areas as I have the energy to move well.
No matter how many times I mull over the word “forward,” it feels like growth. God doesn’t ask us to have it all figured out; he just asks us to move. Sadie Robertson says, “If you love people, and you point them to the love of God, you are fulfilling your purpose.”
Good. Let’s do that. Let’s get in the boat – let’s fluff the sails and measure the sun from the horizon – and let that air fill our lungs as we set a forward sail.
As the novelist Edith Wharton says, “Set wide the window. Let me drink in the day!” I’m moving forward. Are you?