Beloved Brews LinkupToday’s writing prompt from Bonnie Gray is the infamous “Word of the Year” post.  Perhaps you’ve seen this phenomenon filling the blogosphere.  Instead of an itemized list of new year resolutions, you choose one word on which to focus as the days, weeks, and months of the year unfold.

In true first-born fashion, I had my word all figured out.  Trust.  After all, wasn’t that the root of all my anxiety and insomnia issues this past year? The landslide effect of working too hard, worrying too much, and trying to maintain the facade of a life lived perfect had spun me right into an unfamiliar vortex of panic and exhaustion.  I could no longer trust my body or my mind, and trusting that God could fix such a big mess was a leap I seemed unable to take.

So trust.  “Yes, that is it,” I thought.  “If I focus on trust in 2015, surely things will turn around.”  I envisioned a young child standing at the edge of a pool. A dad is gently coaxing the child to leave the solid ground under her feet and leap into the water to land in his arms.  I can see the thoughts tumbling in her young mind, weighing the risks and rewards,  And then…she does it.  She closes her eyes, bends her legs, and launches into the pool.  As her daddy twirls her around, she raises her arms in glee and can’t wait to do it once more.  I want to be that little girl, trusting my Heavenly Father enough to jump back in the pool.  But, as I considered what a year of trust would look like, I realized there is a precursor to the trust.  Before that little girl could leap off the edge, she needed to know that her daddy loved her.  Love is the beginning of trust, in fact I’d go so far as to say that you can’t have trust without it.

I KNOW I am loved.  I know my family loves me.  I know my Heavenly Father loves me.  I know my Savior loves me.  I.  AM.  LOVED.  But I realized with a jolt that I don’t let myself FEEL loved. With the amount of love in my life, my love-quotient should be overflowing.  The Bible is full of passages that tell us how much God loves us.  How he wants to lavish us with love and give us our truest desires.  Love is the reason He couldn’t leave us in our brokenness.  The reason He sent His beloved Son.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  John 3:16

The entire Bible paints a picture of God’s love.  I know this.  I believe this.  So, why don’t I feel this? The God of the universe wants to overwhelm ME with love.  He wants me live life to the full.  To be so filled with His love that it is spilling over me and into the lives of others.  With love like that there is simply no room for fear or anxiety.  THAT’s the life I want to live!  I’m tired of living fear.  I’m tired of feeling that I don’t measure up.  I’m tired of isolating myself from the people that love me and want to know me.  I’m ready to break myself open, make myself vulnerable, give up every desire except one…to be loved.

So that’s it.  In 2015, I am going to ask God to break down the walls that are preventing me from experiencing His love.  To open my heart, my mind, and all my senses to receive His love.  And in turn, to extend that love to others.  I’m ready to surrender.  To get myself out of the way.  I will stop asking for healing and begin asking only to truly FEEL and EXPERIENCE God’s love.  Fully. Completely. Undeservedly. And I will choose to believe that Love was the answer all along.

2015:  The year of LOVE.