Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

One little word

I don't know who came up with the One Little Word thing. Probably someone who got tired of New Year's resolutions yet wanted something to commemorate the new year. So here we have it, the pressure to conform by choosing one little word as a theme or challenge or encouragement for the year. Every year I refuse to conform but then a word comes to me anyway so I might as well follow through.

It was actually back on December 18th, when our Sunday School teacher ended class by suggesting that we ask God this question: What do you want me to do for you in 2017? I scribbled the question down on the back of my bulletin and was about to pack up when the answer immediately came to me so I added it: Let my heart break for what breaks yours. Give me the strength to bear it. Remind me to allow You to bear the burden for me and with me.

And then I wrote one more thing because I knew what my word had to be for 2017: Break

I think I may have rolled my eyes at God.

Break? Really? Doesn't my heart break enough for the vulnerable and broken? Does it have to break more?

But I already knew the answer. And thankfully I know the One who will hold my heart just as He asks me to allow my heart to be broken even more.

“Soon we imagine, with God, this circle of compassion. 
Then we imagine no one standing outside of that circle, 
moving ourselves closer to the margins so that the margins themselves will be erased. 
We stand there with those whose dignity has been denied. 
We locate ourselves with the poor and the powerless and the voiceless. 
At the edges, we join the easily despised and the readily left out. 
We stand with the demonized so that the demonizing will stop. 
We situate ourselves right next to the disposable 
so that the day will come when we stop throwing people away.” -Father Greg Boyle

One of my friends, who is great at holding me accountable, waited until January 6 before wondering if I had fallen off the One Little Word wagon since there had been no mention of it.

I told her my word.

She asked if I was taking a break or planning to break toes?

Neither, I said, and promised a blog post. It was already in my head and my journal, but becoming difficult to organize and post.

Because I'm not sure I want this one little word (but that's probably the point, right?). Since December 18th, I've come to realize that break not only means breaking my heart even more for the brokenness around me but also to break old habits and sins that weigh me down and keep me from truly hearing from and experiencing God.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart,
O God you will not despise.
Psalm 52:17

I've been challenged recently by testimonies and stories of friends and strangers who have been able to successfully and totally surrender areas of their lives to Christ - areas of temptation and sin, and bad habits that weighed them down. I'm humbled by their commitment to changing themselves for Christ, rather than changing Christ to fit them. This is what I'm seeking this year as God works with me to break down the areas of my life that I have not surrendered to Him.

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, 
let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, 
and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." Hebrews 12:14

God, help me to throw off that which hinders. Weights aren't necessarily wrong, they just aren't necessary!

And during a time of prayer, God spoke these words to me:
"Break. Together we'll break chains this year - yours and others. Give it time..."

He heals the brokenhearted, and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3

So here's to 2017 and the year of break - breaking my heart and my chains. And here's to healing and wholeness and freedom.

"It gets darker and darker, and then Jesus is born." Wendell Berry

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