It's that thin place between years where it's easy to grow introspective. At the threshold between decades, I suppose we are all looking back. This is my fifth year choosing one word for the year ahead. I have found the practice of choosing a word (as opposed to goals or resolutions) fruitful.
I try to spend significant time at the end of the year in reflection and planning. I was grateful to have time again to do so this year at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit. My mind wandered past 2019 and back over the past five years that have been a blur of nearly constant change. Just as 2016 began (Practice), my world turned upside down when a trip to India made it clear to my family that God was moving us overseas. 2017 (Rhythm) brought delays and shifts and finally the move to Bangladesh. In 2018 (Present) we barely settled in our new home before unexpected changes turned our hearts again toward the U.S. This year (Still) uprooted us. We spent half the year in Bangladesh and half the year trying to find our footing back in a place that didn’t look or feel like home anymore.
During all this time there were constants and imperceptible shifts. My faith, my family, and my writing grounded me through all the changes. But all those tiny moves added up to an unrecognizable life after many years. My writing slowly built a base and I was bolder with my voice. My children shot up as they are want to do no matter how we stop them. The way I practice my faith and the way I see the world shifted also. How could it not when my eyes continued to open to the ways the Lord is moving outside my own little world, bigger and wilder and more beautiful than the boxes in which we try to contain the God of the Universe?
As I journaled and prayed and came to the question, "what was the overarching theme for you in 2019?" two words came to mind: unraveling, deconstructing. I realized it felt like everything I knew had come apart in my hands.