This took me long enough. :)
For the past three years I made it a point skip the New Year’s resolutions and just pick one word that would help me align my plans and goals for the year. In 2014, my one word was passion. Last year, it was pursue.
Can you tell, based on those two huge words—pursue and passion—how intense the past 2 years were for me?
Don’t get me wrong, the past 2 years were amazing in every way and I can only be grateful for all of it; but there were many times also that I had to pull myself together and fight through the overwhelm and burnout.
Enter 2016 and I went spiraling down and falling into one of the lowest points of my creative and professional life.
I wanted to quit everything.
But quitting was not an option, for obvious reasons. And so I had to keep moving forward regardless of how uninspired and tired I was.
Those were dark and lonely days, but in the mess that I was in God kept repeating this one word to me, over and over and over—
Remain in me.
Remain in my love.
Let my words remain in you.
“Remain” is such an odd little word, if you ask me. I was browsing through other people’s “one words” this year and found no one in the “remain” tribe. Maybe it doesn’t have a dramatic ring to it like the words passion or courage or dream.
And quite frankly, how many of us like the idea of remaining?
to remain means:
to be left when the other parts are gone or have been used;
to stay in the same place or with the same person;
to stay after others have gone;
to continue unchanged;
to stay behind;
For creatives and dreamers, the idea of “staying put” or “being left behind” is a bit unexciting, not to mention lonely.
See, I wasn’t the type to stay put in one place. I liked the idea of going places, shifting jobs, changing addresses. I loved starting new ventures, dreaming new dreams, meeting new people. I couldn’t wait to start planning an itinerary, to jump into a plane and fly to the next destination.
To think I didn’t leave the country for over 5 years, been married for 4 years, working in the same company for 3 years, living in the same address for more than 18 months—in all seriousness, these are all record-breaking for me.
And so lately I couldn’t stop thinking about what’s next. Launch a new project perhaps? Chase the next big dream?
But God keeps telling me, Wait. It’s not yet time. Stay put. Sit still. Let me complete what I have started.
Somehow this one word has become God’s quick answer to every single predicament I lay down at His feet this year.
Lord, I want to quit. — Remain in Me.
Lord, I just want to get out of here. — Remain in Me.
Lord, I don’t know what to do with Pursuit Manila. — Remain in Me.
Lord, I’m so tired of all of these responsibilities. — Remain in Me.
You probably know these verses by heart as I do.
7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
Well I could really use huge servings of THAT joy
Do you realize how great the rewards are when we choose to remain in Him?
More than any wish being granted or prayers being answered, God promises that as we remain in His word and in His love, HIS joy will be in us and our joy will be made complete.
I’ve been a total wreck about this because I know how horrible I’ve been at remaining. But I also know how badly I need that joy in my life right now, and therefore this is exactly what I need to do this 2016—
To not fret even when people are leaving and circumstances are unchanging.
To stay put and be still when all I can think about is running away.
To trust and abide even though I don’t see what lies ahead.
My mind is set. If remaining is what it takes to experience His joy in its fullness this year and beyond, then I am so there.