Happy 2016! Wow, just saying 2016 seems somewhat trippy. I remember when saying 2000 was a game changer. As a new year begins, I kick it off by choosing a word for for the year. Last year I chose "Joy" and you can read my recap on how that went and what I learned. Choosing words have been my goal each year beginning in 2013. Resolutions seem so 1993 and I do much better when I immerse myself in a word to focus on for the year that can touch every part of my life.
This year my word is Contentment. I have to give props to my word last year for bringing me to this word for 2016. If someone had told me in 2006 where I would be today and what I would have experienced, I may have crawled into the fetal position under my bed, never to come out. In those 10 years I've been through a company acquisition, loss of my Dad, loss of my Stepmom, and loss of friends who have passed on. In more upbeat news, I've kept the same job during that time (which for me is a feat!) and completed my MBA. But I'm still single (being factual, not lamenting) and some other things are the same. After the experiences of the last 10 years, my life has changed in ways I wouldn't have imagined.
My pastor's sermon yesterday was on target, as always, and he mentioned that this Christmas was the first time he had no one to call on Christmas because his immediate family has now all passed. I could empathize with him. The first year I had no one to call in my immediate family was 2014 and it was strange. But God has blessed me with friends that are family and I'm far from want of love at Christmas. I do believe, though, if I had no one, I would probably find myself reaching out to others who have no one. Because I get it.
So last year, I focused on Joy. Joy whether it be during the good times or bad. And during that time, I learned a lot about contentment. No, I may not be where I thought I would be 10 years ago, but I am confident that where I am today is right where I am supposed to be. That took a lot of God working on my heart to be able to say that without hesitation. I've never truly lamented my singleness, but have always hoped that one day God would bring the one He had for me into my life. What I've learned is that shouldn't stop my contentment. My life is abundantly full! (even without a man) And whether I'm single, dating or married, that status of my life doesn't drive my contentment. But apart from that, as a human, I find myself in a state of worry, complaining or fear that steals not only my joy but my contentment. And honestly, that's a horrible place to be, and makes me not much fun to be around.
During my year of Joy, I would stop often and realize how contented I was. I almost surprised myself! What I learned from that is contentment is found when my foundation is in the Lord, Who brings me joy. As I thought on my word for this year, it seemed a no-brainer. Contentment.
This year, I plan to focus on contentment. Immerse myself in it. Make sure that on days when I lean towards negativity or cynicism, I stop and ponder on my contentment. God allowed me a few snapshots this year of that place and it was joyful. I look forward to seeing how God will further set my course of contentment in 2016.