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.
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.
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.
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..."
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.