Yes, it’s been a year. A weird one. A hard one. So much loss and chaos. So, when I was asked what my one word for the year would be, I had nothing.
Like many of you, I’ve hidden people on Facebook that I love in person but really struggle to understand on social media. Like many of you, I’ve sat in the darkness and asked God to heal our nation, heal his church, heal our hearts.
I’ve struggled friends. I really have. I don’t know what to do with words thrown out by Christian brothers and sisters like gauntlets. I’ve struggled as people I care about walk away from God and church, saying, “This is not what I thought it was,” and I want to run after them and beg them to take their eyes off of people and remember the beauty of who Jesus is.
And as tough as we all acknowledge this to be, I can’t help but acknowledge there are people who Jesus loves like crazy whose world was turned upside down long before a pandemic hit. Refugees who fled in the middle of the night, leaving everything they knew to find safety. Those who are fighting for long-overdue justice and equality, and exhausted by the fight.
I struggle as my brothers and sisters fight for the unborn, but then forget we are also called to fight for that child once he or she is born — that brown child, black child, immigrant child, that child battling poverty, that child on the border waiting to go through an altered asylum process or in a cold detention center separated from his parents, his or her world blown apart.
In the midst of this crazy year I introduced a book on joy — a message I believe with all my heart. A message I’ve held onto through my second bout with cancer, through a double mastectomy, through my husband’s unexpected heart attack, surgery, and recovery, through unfamiliar waters of a pandemic, and yes, through the struggle of trying to find Jesus in the midst of all of it.
Suzie, what’s your word for 2021?
When Holley and Jennifer and I talked about our one word in this week’s More Than Small Talk podcast, there’s a reason for the tears on my part. All of the above weighed heavy, even as I held onto beautiful, deeply-rooted joy. When I admitted that I was listening to God for my word and hadn’t heard anything yet, Holley’s words were comforting.
“I think that listening to God right now can feel hard, Suzie. Like it’s muffled. It’s not that He’s not speaking, but all the noise in the world right now makes it hard to hear for a lot of us.”
In the past week I did my best to shut down all the noise and just listen. When my word came, I knew it was Him and I wanted to weep.
My word is. . . “find.”
If you seek me, you’ll find me, God says. It’s not an empty statement. It’s a promise. It’s reminding us that He’s not far away. He’s always near. Yet there’s reciprocal action on my part.
Finding comes through seeking.
So the one thing I’m asking of God in 2021 is that He’ll meet me in the seeking. All the things I wrote about in the first of this blog post — He’s aware of. It’s not my dilemma to fix all of them, though I know I play a part. Seeking is putting down the distractions, getting away from the crowd to get alone with Him. It’s not a chore. It’s not a to-do. It’s life-giving and faith-altering, offering direction and hope and clarity.
It helps me to see my brothers and sisters in Christ through His lens, rather than my own. It takes my eyes off anything or anyone I see as my “enemy,” to battle the real enemy with gloves outfitted by prayer. It shows me what is my job and what was never my job, and how to battle from a place of healing over a place of anger or hurt or pride, or any other trap we may fall into.
I know I’m sharing a lot with you and there’s a chance you might not agree with me in some way or on some point, and I’m okay with that, sister. There’s a good chance you are trying your hardest to hear God in all the chaos too, and you’ve spent nights wrestling with what is true, with what to do, and trying to figure out what to do about all of it.
Maybe we can all just pray that God will meet us in the seeking, and there we’ll find Him together.
Listen to this week’s More Than Small Talk podcast on your favorite podcast app. You can find all the ways to listen here.
- Start your year by walking with Jesus daily. Come With Me Devotional: A Year-Long Adventure of Walking with Jesus is a 5-day-a-week devotional that allows you to read Jesus’ own words, follow His example, watch Him interact with others and with His Heavenly Father — and find your own invitation to live it out in your everyday life. You can purchase an autographed (and discounted) copy of this gorgeous hardbound devotional here. Profits go right back into the TogetHER ministry.
God let me find you and all that you have for me by continuing to seek you. Amen
This is beautiful, Suzie! Thank you for sharing your heart. I am seeking Him with you. There is beauty and strength when we seek Him together too. We don’t have to agree on everything to love one another and have unity.
Wow, wow, and wow!! This was spot on. Everything I have been thinking and feeling. We know without a doubt that God is in control and He gives us peace to see us through as He never leaves us nor forsakes us. Thank you, Lord as we begin a New Year together. Bless you, Suzie for sharing your heart and letting God use you according to His will for you. Don’t give up, keep the faith til He returns…and looking at the times we are living in it could be today!
This is so true! I just realized I haven’t found my word for the year because I never sought Him atleast not intentionally.
Thank you for the reminder.
May we continue finding Him even in the little things..
Thank you for your honesty and bearing your heart ❤️ to your sisters in Christ 😇.
I too didn’t have a word for this year, I had JOY for 2020 and I brought your book but was not in a good mood this past year. Though God was ever so sweet in my quiet time and understood me when I didn’t. So I am extending my word JOY for this year to really pray for my true understanding of ALL that attribute of God is, get to your book 📖 and experience what is offered in Joy and what I can receive.
Fullness of joy is my goal!
May your health be in a good place and you can glean from our Father’s blessings.
Seek and you WILL find. Such a power promise Suzie. Bless you for opening our eyes to see His truth anew.
Suzie, This is so beautifully written and so true. I was pretty sure of my word and the More Than Small Talk podcast this week confirmed it. In a world where much is standing still, as we navigate this pandemic, my word is “forward”. I have spent several years just abiding, being still and now it is time to move forward…..faithfully. The Scripture God gave me is Proverbs 4:25 (ESV) “Let your eyes look directly forward , and your gaze be straight before you.” My word came to me earlier this week, I had not listened to the MTST podcast in a while and I was amazed that God confirmed my word, really two words, forward and faithfully, during the podcast.
I love this and truly thank God for your words. I will seek Him more and I know all the hurdles I have to face He’s right there beside me. Let’s stretch our hands out and embrace Him as He walks the journey with each of us. Ps 65: 11 You crown the year with Your goodness, and Your paths drip with abundance.
I pray that we would claim this daily in our lives thru and in our storms and fire! My word is GOODNESS!
Thank you for this!
I understand what you are saying, but you’re clearly coming down against those who are pro-life and may have opinions different than you and simply ignoring those who are Christians who are believe it’s ok within their biblical doctrine to kill an unborn child. It saddens me that you wandered away from encouraging to judging. Those in a position to influence others like yourself need to be careful that you don’t further divide us as sisters in Christ.
I believe Suzie is 100% pro life!!!
Thank you for your thoughts. We don’t know what each other is thinking unless we ask the hard questions. I’m totally pro-life, and that extends to the mama carrying that baby and the baby once it is born.
One of the most beautiful TogetHER projects was for pregnant women without resources to carry their baby to term. We wrapped around a ministry that offered housing, counseling, community and more for up to a year after the baby was born.
You have spoken my heart, Suzie. I, too, am 100% pro life, but to me, that means after they’re born as well. And that includes EVERY child, no matter their color, race, etc. No matter if they’re U.S. citizens or not. Love and blessings to you!
This hits home with me, Suzie. The book I am working on is about asking questions, something that is a big part of seeking. Your thoughts always strengthen my faith and point me in the right direction. Thank you for being you.
Thank you, Lori. <3
Thank you for sharing your heart Suzie. I appreciate your honesty and candor about your struggles, triumphs and the things the Holy Spirit speaks into your life. Truth doesn’t change based on culture and His Word is true. Keep on speaking truth in love sister.