Usually the start of the new year brings about a lot of “vision” for people, and a lot of goal setting and plans and agendas to be accomplished. At the start of every year, for the past 3 or 4 years, it has been my goal to identify just ONE word that will be my focus of the year. It tends to follow the pattern of me being highly inspired by some event/person/thing and then proceed with me looking into many many words and definitions of words, followed by a thesaurus look up, then followed with an in-depth bible verse look up to see if something inspires me enough to stick.
This year, 2018, I honestly haven’t even been that focused on discovering a “one word” or trying to become suddenly divinely inspired. Honestly a lot of this was due to the fact that I was allowing my anxieties to get the best of me, and I was simply focused on “how do I get out of this feeling?” Which is actually quite funny because I had bought myself a planner at the beginning of December or 2017 entitled “What I will do to feel the way I want to feel.” – the irony of the situation….
Now as most of you know, I am a mental health therapist for children and adolescents. It is my job to help individuals and children reframe their thinking, reframe the meanings of certain behaviors, identify new behavioral patterns, and create healthy environments in which to process emotions and feelings related to various stressors. I am really great at working with individuals on this, and I’m not so great at working with myself on the idea. The tricky part for me is that as a social worker, I am not ethically allowed to bring up Jesus to clients unless this is a topic in which the client would first like to delve into themselves. So- I work and work to create behavior charts and thought stopping techniques and ways to reframe authomatic negative thinking.
However, when it comes to myself I am not good at creating these patterns and techniques for myself. I’ve come to realize I think the biggest reason for this is because I KNOW where the one true hope lies, and I KNOW where the only truth lies, and it’s not in things that I create and make up for myself. I know that the only way to really reframe my thinking is by replacing it with scriptures that pour out truths over my life. This is the only way to genuinely reduce my anxiety and negative thinking patterns. I also know that by prayer and petition (Philippians 4:6) consistently I will feel more at peace.
It hit me in church today, that I haven’t been able to fully say I’ve relied on this. I haven’t been able to really say that I have reduced any anxiety because I know that I have not put Jesus at my center. I have not made him the focal point and lens by which I view everything else in my life. Jesus really does have to be at the center of everything for me to feel truly at peace, truly content, and truly free in each and every circumstance. This is something incredibly difficult to keep up with on a regular basis.
This is why I have decided my word for this year will be CENTER. A big question I have to continually ask myself is: what are the people or things I am choosing to put at the center of every situation or circumstance? Am I putting my career at the center? Am I putting my boyfriend at the center? Am I putting myself at the center? Am I putting my desires at the center? Am I putting my time at the center? or Am I putting Jesus at the center?
For something to be at the CENTER it simply means:
– to have it as the point/pivot/ or axis in which anything else revolves.
– to have it as the source of influence or action
– To collect to or focus
When I don’t have Jesus as my center, my focus becomes highly skewed. The way in which everything else revolves starts to crumble, and I fall off balance. Even if you think in terms of losing your center of gravity, you recognize quickly you become unbalanced when your center of gravity is not observed and appropriately accommodated. I for one, have been feeling a little TOO off balanced. I have been feeling a little TOO on edge. I haven’t been living in the true joy set before me. This is where I want to be. Secure. Knowing. Trusting. Being. Free.
If you have a one word and would like to comment below, feel free too! I’d love to hear your goals and dreams for the upcoming year!